Northern entrepreneurs optimistic, says EY

NORTHERN entrepreneurs saw their businesses grow last year and are optimistic about their future, according to a new survey.

According to data compiled by the accountancy firm EY, 76% of entrepreneurs in the North have increased staff numbers, with 36% of these businesses creating more than 50 new jobs.

Almost all of those surveyed (93%) expect their turnover to increase in the next three years.

However, only a quarter (27%) said they are attracting the right talent, suggesting the skilled labour market remains challenging.

EY surveyed 51 Northern entrepreneurs to assess how their firms have performed in recent years and whether they expect to grow in the future, as well as to gather their views on the factors that they feel can help or hinder growth. Some 80% of respondents have run their companies for at least a decade.

The survey found that 80% of respondent have seen growth in their turnover in the last year, compared to 75% nationally, with over half (57%) recording an increase of more than 5%. Some 98% said they expected their business to grow further in the next three years with over half (59%) expecting annual growth of over 10%.

Simon Allport, North West Senior Partner at EY, said: “Over the past 12 months the economy has strengthened, and this is reflected in the confident mood amongst Northern businesses. Entrepreneurs have been recruiting in significant numbers and seeing reasonable growth over the past year. But, more importantly, more than half are planning ahead for double digit growth. The North, like the wider UK, is open for business, and our entrepreneurs are leading the way in terms of increasing their turnover and headcount.”