The Entrepreneurs Index measures three aspects of the entrepreneurial lifecycle: start-ups, growth and exits, creating a barometer to measure the health of entrepreneurialism in the UK.

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Barclays & BGF Entrepreneurs Index V

Expanding start-up population

In the six months to June 2014, there was a 3.9% rise in the number of active companies, up to 3,027,622. Almost 350,000 businesses have been started so far in 2014.

7.1% of 18-64 year-olds in the UK are in the process of starting or already running new businesses.

Proportion of high-growth companies is plateauing

However, this positive news is somewhat tempered by the latest data on high growth companies. Following an increase in the percentage of high-growth companies within revenue bands of £2.5m to £100m during 2012, there has been a levelling effect during 2013, with a 0.3 percentage point fall.

In December 2011 the proportion of high-growth companies was 17.4%. In December 2012 it rose to 22.5% and in December 2013 it had fallen to 22.2%.

Construction still on a high

Despite this over-arching trend, following significant investment in infrastructure and house building the construction industry once again had the largest proportional increase of high-growth companies, with a rise of 41% in the three years to December 2013.

‘New economy’ sectors fare well

There has been a significant rise in the number of beneficiaries from deals in new economy sectors. There was an 84% jump in the number of people benefiting from deals in the IT and computer services industry and a 76% increase for the medical, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology sectors in the 12 months up to June 2014.

Mixed regional picture

While London and the South East continue to be the backbone of the economy, activity is spreading to the rest of the UK. The strongest regions for deals are the East, the Midlands and London, which have seen increases of 27%, 20% and 15% respectively in the number of deals across all sectors in the 12 months up to June 2014.

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