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Number of UK Startup Programmes More Than Doubles In Three Years

I read with interest that the number of UK startup programmes has more than doubled in three years.  This reinforces the ever growing entrepreneurial spirit in the UK – a can  do attitude – which is so exciting and creative.  I am amazed at how my own children are captivate and engaged with programmes like The Apprentice – which even though it is entertainment – does show people with business ideas and enthusiasm – something that was really hard to experience when I was their age.

This entrepreneurial spirit is why businesses like exist and why in particularly online accounting sofftware like Xero are so attractive.  If you are not aware of it I urge you take a look – and if you know people who are looking to start their own business then let them now about it too!

The article which was published in is below.

According to a report by O2, not only are incubated and accelerated start-ups likely to secure significant financial investment – on average more than £68,000 once they’ve graduated – but the support and guidance they receive gives them an invaluable edge versus their competition.

Of those programmes able to quantify the number of start-ups still operating, the survival rate for start-ups reaches almost 92 per cent, compared to a two-year survival rate of 75.6 per cent for all small businesses.

The research examines the incubator and accelerator ecosystem as a whole, revealing a more than 110 per cent rise in the number of formal programmes operating over the past three years.

The report also reveals who is driving such rapid growth. Over 40 per cent of all the start-up programmes in the UK are currently privately run, with a third of these receiving backing from public sector organisations.

A further 12 per cent are owned by large corporate enterprises, with Telefónica, John Lewis, Barclays and Distill Ventures (Diageo) all launching their own programmes, while another 25 per cent are affiliated to educational organisations such as universities or business schools.

Almost two thirds of incubators and accelerators (61 per cent) are based in the capital – ten times more than the number outside it.

However, cities such as Birmingham and Edinburgh are both demonstrating promising growth as accelerator and incubator hubs, both at least doubling the number of programmes operating in the past two years to four and three respectively

Wales and Northern Ireland have a number of dynamic new co-working spaces or business centres, but they are relatively underserved by accelerators or incubators.

Feilim Mackle, O2’s sales & service director says, ‘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.’

Start Ups Thriving Off The Back Of The UK Recovery

I was interested to read in Kent Business that after 5 years of erratic trading almost every indicator suggests that the UK recovery is in full swing.  This is reflected in two events which are happening in Kent this year – Kent2020startup and Kent2020marketing.  The artcle highlights that startups are a vital part of the UK's economic recovery and that the UK now boasting record numbers of people running their own businesses.  I am not how many startups think about accounting at this stage – but if they are they need to seriously look at the convenience and cost benefit og going down the cloud based accounting route.

21% of Startp Up Business Up and Running Within 6 Weeks

According to a survey in of some 3,400 new businesses by PeoplePerHour, 21 per cent of businesses surveyed managed to get up and running within six weeks, 28 per cent in 6-12 weeks and 19 per cent took 12-20 weeks. Just 7 per cent of those surveyed say it had taken them longer than a year. One of the factors contributing to the speed of the start-up process is the fact that 71 per cent of those surveyed raised money needed from their savings and the 'bank of friends and family'.  Some 22 per cent of those surveyed started up with less than £2,000 and 17 per cent managed to start with less than £1,000.

Whilst accounting may not be at the forefront of a startups thinking for many the flexible and highly affordable cloud based accounting option is an attractive one.

March Budget – Looking back at the Autumn Statement

As we fast approach Budget day on March 19, will we be in a stronger financial position than we were in 2013?

Let’s take a look into Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn statement . The Key Points are outlined below.


March budget – Looking back at the Autumn Statement



People in their 40s get state pension at – 68
People in 30s at –


2013: 1.4%(up from 0.6%)


Extra £1bn from government departments each year until 2017


2014-15: £96bn, 2015-16: £79bn, 2018-19: £2bn surplus


Economic Growth – BORROWING

Growth forecast for this year increased from 0.6% to 1.4%


Benefits & Pensions –

The state pension age is to increase to 68 in the mid-2030s and to 69 in the late 2040s. In April 2014, the state pension will rise by £2.95 a week.


Overall welfare spending is to be capped.


Anyone aged 18 to 21 claiming benefits without basic English or Maths will be required to undertake training from day one or lose their entitlement. People unemployed for more than six months to be forced to start a traineeship, take work experience or do a community work placement or lose benefits.


Taxes & Allowances –  

From April 2015, capital gains tax will be imposed on future gains made by non-residents who sell residential property in the UK.

From 1 January 2014, the rate of the bank levy will rise to 0.156%, and is estimated to raise £2.7bn in 2014-15 and £2.9bn each year from 2015-16.

Employer National Insurance contributions are to be scrapped on 1.5 million jobs for young people.

Stamp duty on shares purchased in exchange traded funds is to be abolished.

The personal income tax allowance will rise to £10,000 from April 2014, and then increase from 2015-16 by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measure of inflation.

A married couples and civil partners tax break, which is set to cost about £700m a year, is proposed to start in April 2015, enabling people to transfer £1,000 of their income tax allowance to their partners.

Business rates in England to be capped at 2% rather than linked to RPI inflation, with some retail premises in England to get a discount. Businesses moving into vacant high-street properties will have their rates cut by 50%.

From April, a new tax relief is to be introduced for investment in social enterprises and new social impact bonds.


Jobs & Training –  

The number of people claiming unemployment benefits is down 200,000, with unemployment now forecast to fall from 7.6% this year to 7% in 2015. Unemployment is then expected to fall further to 5.6% by 2018.

Total number of jobs to rise by 400,000 this year and 3.1 million jobs predicted to be created by 2019.

A boost in the government’s start-up loans scheme will aim to help 50,000 more people start their own businesses.

Export finance capacity available to support British businesses will be doubled to £50bn.


Transport –  

Petrol taxes stay frozen – a planned rise of 2p per litre for next year is to be scrapped.

Regulated train fares will rise in line with inflation, not at 1% above RPI as planned.

The tax disc to show motorists have paid vehicle excise duty is to be replaced with an electronic system.


Education & Families –  

An extra 30,000 places at English universities will be created in 2014-15. The following year, the current cap on student numbers will be abolished entirely.

Science, technology and engineering courses will receive increased funding, and a new science centre in Edinburgh University is to be named after Prof Peter Higgs, the discoverer of the Higgs boson particle.

The proportion of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds applying to university is up.

An additional 20,000 apprenticeships are to be funded over the next two years.

All pupils at state schools in England in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are to get free school lunches from next September, at an estimated cost of £600m a year.


Housing – 

The government hopes £1bn in loans will boost housing developments in Manchester and Leeds, among other sites.

The housing revenue account’s borrowing limit is to rise by £300m.

Councils are to sell off the most expensive social housing and rundown urban housing estates to be regenerated, and workers who live in council houses are to be given priority on housing lists if they need to move home to find a job.



Infrastructure – 

Tax allowances aiming to encourage investment in shale gas to cut tax on early profits by 50%.

More investment in “quantum technology”, which involves attempting to apply the strange behaviour of materials on a tiny scale to practical purposes, is promised.


Overseas Aid – 

The government’s pledge to spend 0.7% of gross national income on international development is to be met without an increase to the current aid budget.