Thousands of businesses were launched in the South West last year

More than 42,000 start-up businesses were launched in the South West in 2023 – according to new research from R3, the UK’s insolvency and restructuring trade body.

R3’s analysis of data provided by Creditsafe shows 42,500 firms were set-up in the South West in 2023 – a rise of six per cent from 2022’s total of 40,096.

The highest number of start-ups for 2023 was recorded in March, when 4,405 new firms were launched – an increase of 3.1 per cent  compared to March 2022’s figure of 4,273, which was 2022’s high point.

The South West had the seventh highest total number of start ups for 2023 across the UK’s regions and nations, following behind Greater London (293,060), East Anglia (93,470), the North West (80,404), the West Midlands (71,898), the South East (71,489) and Yorkshire and the Humberside (54,253).

Tim Sloggett, chair of R3 in the South West, says: “Amidst tough economic challenges like high inflation, persistent interest rates, and supply chain issues, tens of thousands of entrepreneurs in the South West embraced the opportunity to launch new businesses last year.

“Many of these new ventures are micro and small businesses, owned and run by local people, and will play a crucial role in supporting the growth of the South West economy in the year ahead.”

Tim, who is a managing director at business advisory firm Quantuma, said: “Whilst start-ups are the lifeblood of the local economy and it is extremely positive to see this increase, unfortunately, statistics show that approximately 60% of start-ups fail in the first three years. As such, it is really important that directors stay alert to any signs of financial distress and act quickly should they arise.

“Problems paying the bills or staff on time, stock levels piling up and falling revenue are all early indicators a business could be in trouble, and at this point it’s essential to seek advice from a qualified source, whether you’re running a start-up or a more established business.

“R3 members in the South West are highly experienced in supporting companies in this situation and are happy to provide a free initial consultation to learn more about your concerns and help you understand the options you have for resolving them.”