‘Generation Z’ companies are driving Britain’s economic growth

Country's business population has increased by 1.9 million since 2000 with major increases in number of health, retail and finance companies

Start-ups launched in the 21st century, known as ‘Generation Z’ companies, have changed the shape of Britain’s business landscape and helped to drive economic growth – according to research by Experian.

The study revealed that the UK’s business population rose from 1.5 million in 2000 to 3.4 million at the end of 2014, with start-ups which have few fixed assets and long-term liabilities dominating the sectors experiencing the strongest growth.

Web companies account for 8.5% of all start-ups since 2000, with the number of companies operating in this sector having increased 237% between then and 2014.

The number of health services companies has increased from 6,993 in 2000 to 59,907 in 2014 – an eight fold right. Over the same period, retail business have increased by 444%, finance and insurance by 341%, construction by 293% and well-being by 290%.

Following two decades of almost uninterrupted growth – falling only in 2009 and 2010 – a record 586,818 companies were set up in 2014, an increase of 27.5% on the 459,967 created in 2007 when the economy peaked. These start-ups accounted for 17.3% of the UK’s total business population last year.

Unsurprisingly, London was found to be home to the highest number of new businesses, alongside Birmingham, Manchester, Reading and Leicester.

The sectors which have suffered the greatest declines since the start of the millennium were generally found to be more reliant on assets with 35% fewer businesses in the print industry  in 2014 compared to 2000, while manufacturing was down 17%and wholesale 8%.

Max Firth, managing director for Experian Business Information Services UK&I, said: “The UK’s business landscape has changed dramatically in the 21st century. Start-ups are created using knowledge, skills and the internet, often with just a laptop, mobile phone and a small or home office.

“Fewer companies are being created in asset-intensive sectors where there is a need for expensive machinery, so the requirement for bank loans and an overdraft has shifted as a result. Businesses which understand the nature of the ‘Generation Z’ start-ups and how they operate will be in the best position to serve them as they grow.”

Experian is sponsoring the Export Business of the Year category for the Startups Awards 2015, enter your start-up business for the awards here.

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