The UK Startup Economy In Numbers: Nov 2012

As TechCity takes stock of 2 years of startups in London, Inside Startups looks at the UK’s startup scene in statistics. Here’s our mini November 2012 UK Startup census.

UK Startups Stand Up and Be Counted…

Startup Tracker is a great tool, monitoring the health of UK Startups. It’s stats record that in November 9,799 UK startups were born, part of the 424,161 created this year (

The Growth of the Little (and Medium) Guy…

The SME world saw 38.7% growth from 2000 to 2012, that’s 3.5 million to 4.8 million UK SME’s, a 1.3 million increase (

Being a UK Startup is Risky Business…

The UK is a cheap place to startup up according to Growth Business with 0.7 being the percentage of gross national income startup-cost for UK businesses, (compared with a global average of 20%). However, being a UK startup is a risky business with 1 in 3 businesses failing within the first 3 years. 20% of businesses fail within the first year, and in the next 3 years 50% of those fail.

So Get Advice…

A recent The Financial Times Guide to Business Start Ups found that 20% of failed businesses would still be in business after 2.5 years if they had sought advice at the outset.

It’s Hard To Find Funding…

There are currently 619,000 millionaires in the UK (2011), only 5% are Business Angel Investors (Barclays Wealth). VC cash is declining and the number of those that get it has always been small (some US stats put it as low as 1 in 99%) in the UK just 5% of investment goes in to Venture Capital.

But the government is waking up to the potential, especially for young entrepreneurs…

30,000: the amount of startups led by young people Prime Minister David Cameron stated StartUp Loans would create, 900,000: the amount of extra businesses the UK would have if it had the same rate of entrepreneurship as the US (BBC).

Tech startups are booming…

There are 3,000 tech companies in East London, employing an estimated 50,000 people (The Guardian). There’s still 2,700 unfilled jobs (Computer World)

Is the UK a hub for Social Enterprise?

It’s estimated 55,000 (89%) of social enterprises are located in urban areas one 5th are in London. The combined turnover of Social Enterprises is £27bn per year, contributing £8.4bn per year to the UK economy (nearly 1% of annual GDP) (

Got more interesting startup stats? We’d love to hear them and add them to our UK Startup stat-check. Tell us in the comments below.

  • I can see how valuable this startup information can be to seeing the trend of an economy. Do you know of anything similar for the United States?

    • Hello Leo,

      I also received your email 🙂

      Personally, I’m not sure of any resources for the US economy, however I do encourage anyone from our readership to contribute to this question. Leo, what areas are of the start-up economy are you particularly interested in?


      @Leo – I know you asked this some time ago but this might help –

  • led

    All business began as start ups. It’s just that today, everything’s so expensive. There’s lot of outsourcing. Others lose their shirts. But start ups can harness the new technology in this area to succeed.

  • Jason

    Anton, I’m not sure what to make of this: “However, being a UK startup is a risky business with 1 in 3 businesses failing within the first 3 years. 20% of businesses fail within the first year, 50% within 3.” So is the failure rate 33% or 50% within the first 3 years?

    • Hi Jason, thanks for the heads-up (corrected now)