Number of new UK companies jumps 12%

Over 900,000 new companies were created in the UK last year, a 12 per cent increase compared to 2022.

According to a new report from NatWest and research firm Beauhurst, the biggest sector of growth was online retailers which accounted for 82,000 new businesses.

The number of active companies operating in the UK is around 5.3 million, which NatWest said is a record high despite inflation, increased operating costs, and challenging economic conditions.

Around 164,000 companies were founded by women in 2023, an increase of four percent compared to 2022.

The number of women-founded businesses has jumped by 26 per cent in the past five years.

Northern Ireland saw the biggest rise in start-ups with 14,000 new businesses opened in 2023, an increase of 59 per cent compared to the previous year.

London saw 20 per cent jump in businesses opening over the same time period.

“It is hard not to feel a sense of pride in the resilience and dynamism of the UK’s business landscape,” said James Jolian, head of business banking at the NatWest Group. “Today’s report shows that despite the recent economic challenges, entrepreneurial spirit in the country has not just endured, it has thrived.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, accounting for three-fifths of employment and about half of the private sector's turnover. As the UK’s biggest bank for business, we believe we have a key role to play in fostering an ecosystem where businesses are given the tools to start, scale and succeed."

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