South West

A region showing high promise for entrepreneurial expansion

Despite a tumultuous entrepreneurial landscape in the UK, the South West shows strong signs of growth, with year-on-year growth and investment figures competitive with other regions in the UK.

The number of companies receiving VC funding has jumped from 7 to 16 year-on-year – and the value of VC funding has also increased since last year’s research, from £8 million to £12 million. Expansion funding has also surged, more than doubling year-on-year from £76 million to £159 million in this year’s research, while the number of companies receiving this funding is lower than last year at 25. This may indicate that the actual value of expansion funding per company receiving this is significantly higher, year-on-year.

£159m: Amount of expansion funding invested
239: Number of high-growth companies

With 239 high-growth companies, the South West is mid-range among the regions for high-growth enterprises, behind the North West (320), West Midlands (271), East of England (360), South East (572) and London (1,529). It also has strong expansion numbers, with 25 companies receiving this type of funding. Total expansion funding has reached £159 million in the region.

The number of private equity-backed companies in the region has increased by one, from 47 in last year’s research to 48, while the ratio of private equity-backed companies per 1,000 companies in the region has remained stable at 0.18.

Key findings

National data offers a conflicted snapshot of entrepreneurship, while regional data proffers a promise of diversifying new business activity. London and the South East remain strong incubators, and the North’s entrepreneurial growth is strong. 

Entrepreneurs index

A barometer of the entrepreneurial environment and activity in the UK. This, the ninth volume, focuses on three main indicators: start-up activity, growth of new business and exits of young enterprises.