UK Start-up Programmes double in last three years

Nearly 60 start-up programmes supported more than 1,100 start-ups in 2014, according to a research report by O2.

The report notes that incubated and accelerated start-ups are significantly more likely to secure financial investment, averaging more than £68,000 after graduating programmes, with the guidance and support they have received putting them ahead of their competition.

Programmes recording data on the number of start-ups still in operation reported that the average survival rate is nearly 92%; noticeably more than the two-year survival rate, just shy of 76% for all small businesses.

Looking at the total incubator and accelerator ecosystem, the research demonstrates that there has been more than a 110% rise in the last three years in the number of formal programmes offering start-up support.

More than 40% of all start-up programmes in the UK originate from the private sector, with a further third of these programmes receiving backing from public organisations.

12% of start-up programmes are wholly owned by larger corporate enterprises, such as Telefónica, John Lewis, Barclays and Distill Ventures (Diageo). A further 25% have affiliations with academic organisations (i.e. universities and business schools).

61% of incubators and accelerators were found to be based in London, which had a concentration of more than ten times more programmes than the total for the rest of the country.

Despite this London-centric outlook, Birmingham and Edinburgh have both demonstrated visible growth as accelerator and incubator hubs, with both cities at least doubling their offering in the last two years, with four and three programmes respectively.

Wales and Northern Ireland are also showcased as having a number of dynamic new co-working spaces and business centres that have the potential for greater use and investment from accelerators and incubators.

Feilim Mackle, O2’s sales & service director said:

“The rise in UK start-up programmes creates a unique opportunity for the entrepreneurs, but only if businesses and the government take responsibility for investing in these programmes to ensure they offer long-term, quality support. A loss in momentum could see some of the UK’s best entrepreneurial talent go to waste.”

Business minister Matthew Hancock adds:

“With more than double the number of incubators and accelerators today than in 2011, the UK is fast becoming the best place in the world to start and grow a business.

“From London’s Tech City to exciting new clusters in Birmingham, Edinburgh and Manchester, large companies and Government are coming together to help foster exciting new businesses. We’re creating an environment where entrepreneurs can hone their ideas and thrive.”


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Words: Peter Cribley

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