Monday 19 April 2021 / 10:00 PM Keir Starmer

Labour leader pledges to back the next generation of British entrepreneurs, as new analysis shows the rate of business start-ups falling in every English region

  • New analysis shows the rate of business start-ups has fallen in every region in England since 2016, down 11 per cent nationally
  • If the rate of business starts had been maintained, there would have been 46,000 more businesses started in 2019
  • Labour is pledging to back the next generation of British entrepreneurs, with the creation of 100,000 new businesses across the UK in the first term of a Labour government

Labour Leader Keir Starmer is today pledging to back the next generation of British entrepreneurs, as new research shows the rate of new business creation has fallen in every English region since 2016. The Labour leader is pledging that in the first term of a Labour government, 100,000 UK start-ups would be created directly by government support, across all English regions.

Labour’s analysis shows that the rate of new business creation across England has fallen by 11 per cent since 2016, with every region revealing a downward turn. If the birth rate had been maintained, there would by an estimated 46,000 more businesses started in 2019, which based on the average number of people employed by start-ups, would have provided over 100,000 more jobs.

Labour’s plans would create double the number of businesses the existing scheme is delivering. The Government’s flagship Start Up Loans currently has only supported the creation of around 9,500 companies per year. Labour will boost Start Up Loans with a five-year funding guarantee, funding 20,000 new businesses a year over the next five years.

The Party highlight the regional disparity of the current funding, with nearly one quarter going to London. Labour would require a minimum amount of funding to be lent in each region, focusing on businesses with high-growth potential.

Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour Party, said:

“The drop in business birth rates is in no way symptomatic of a drop in ideas, drive, creativity, or commitment from British entrepreneurs. But under this Conservative government, the next generation of business founders are being let down.

“Business growth is the engine of our economy and it is only by backing aspiring founders that we can create jobs and rebuild a secure economy. Labour backs business and will provide start-up loans to create 100,000 new businesses across the UK over the next parliament.”

Ed Miliband MP, Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary, added: 

“To rebuild our economy, we need to harness the dynamism and creativity of our nation’s entrepreneurs. They need strategic and targeted investment, allocated based on the strengths and drive of potential business founders, not the favours or promises of former business contacts.

“These business founders and small businesses across the country should be at the heart of our economic recovery, yet too many are being held back because of the unfair distribution of funding to help them start up and scale up.

“There are hardworking and innovative business founders being left out in the cold by the Conservatives. With Labour, they will get the backing they need to succeed.”