Britain’s start-up appeal

Business leaders back Britain for start-ups

Faith in the UK entrepreneur scene is high – but a lack of innovation could dampen long-term trade prospects, says research from Barclays.

  • 78% of overseas business leaders think the UK is a good place to start a business
  • 60% say Brexit will actually improve their trade dealings with British companies
  • UK entrepreneurs rated for reliability but fall short on passion and inspiration

UK entrepreneurs have global pulling power but need to innovate to boost overseas trade, according to research.

The study, commissioned by Barclays, interviewed 1,350 business leaders around the world on their perceptions of British entrepreneurs and their experiences trading with UK scale-ups. Four fifths (78%) of overseas business leaders think the UK is a good place to start a business, with Brazil (88%), the US (85%) and China (84%) most optimistic about Britain’s potential to create the next Apple or Google on home shores. Yet this fell dramatically in the views of Germany (64%) and France (68%).

But while British entrepreneurs are described as reliable (53%), smart (50%) and polite (50%) international business leaders believe they are short on both passion and inspiration (both 29%). The top attributes of UK entrepreneurs are that they are well educated (51%) and committed to delivering high quality (44%).

A further 79% of those polled 1 consider the UK’s start-up scene as an important global growth business hub for entrepreneurs, while four fifths (82%) would consider investing in a UK start-up.

Trading with the UK post-Referendum
Following the UK’s EU Referendum vote, 61% of International business leaders say it won’t have any impact on the way they do business with UK entrepreneurs. More than four-fifths (84%) believe UK products and services will continue to offer good value, three quarters (76%) say they are confident that Britain will have a solid plan in place, while the ‘Made In Britain’ brand is a highly attractive for 74%. A further 60% say Brexit will actually improve their trade dealings with British companies.


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