Entrepreneurial Spark’s 2017 Impact Report demonstrates its need in the business community, going from strength to strength and producing the next generation of start-ups and big business successes 

Entrepreneurial Spark, powered by NatWest, launched its annual report last month, showing an even bigger impact on the UK economy than previous years. The figures in the 2017 Impact Report show some pretty hard evidence that the world’s largest free business accelerator is having a hugely positive impact on the entrepreneurial climate.

A focus on creating growth mindsets and hands-on enablement by Entrepreneurial Spark with the key support of all its partners in NatWest, KPMG Enterprise, Dell Technologies and Pinsent Masons means that is has now enabled over 1,700 businesses to grow and scale-up across the UK.

The figures are reflected across all four nations of the UK, with 2016 seeing hubs now open in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales and across all sectors. The number of jobs created is a massive 3,152, all of which have a positive impact on the UK economy.

Lucy-Rose Walker, Entrepreneurial Spark CEO said: “We’ve given this Impact Report the title ‘Blow Your Mind’ and it’s not hard to see why. The stats are truly mind blowing and we’ve enabled our entrepreneurs to create real jobs, huge turnover and significant investment via our focus on developing their entrepreneurial mindsets and behaviours. Our entrepreneurs have turned over £176m, so it is clear what an impact we are having on the UK economy.”

The Entrepreneurial Spark programme leaders and mentors have proven to be highly dedicated and resilient, helping their chiclets through each step of the process to grow their business. As such, 85% of the businesses accelerated are still trading which is more than double the national average.

Lucy-Rose commented: “Our vision is to create positive social change by giving people the chance to grow and create jobs, and value in the economy. It’s really gratifying to see that those entrepreneurs have now created 3,152 jobs across the UK, all of them creating social change by contributing to their communities and local economies.

For NatWest, 2016 was a key year in their drive to support start-up businesses and entrepreneurs. Last year they doubled the number of free business accelerators across the UK to 12, providing double the amount of free office space offered to entrepreneurs, access to their network, connections and essential mentoring.

“Our partnership with NatWest is such a powerful one and enables us to give hands-on practical help to start-ups of every kind, from that first spark of an idea, right up to bigger businesses needing to scale and grow,” says Lucy-Rose. “We also love working with KPMG, Dell Technologies, Pinsent Masons and Harper Macleod because as the experts in what they do they offer so much to our entrepreneurs.”

Alison Rose, CEO of Commercial and Private Banking for NatWest said: “The Impact Report shows that the support our free accelerators are giving to entrepreneurs is working, enabling them to create jobs across the UK, secure millions of pounds of investment and support their local economies. Our hubs are now in every nation of the UK, in many major cities and we are excited to be opening a London hub later this year.”

Entrepreneurial Spark also recently created a new suite of programmes which will launch even more people into the entrepreneurial world who build even better businesses. This evolved model will provide specialised, bespoke enablement for entrepreneurs on all stages of their journey.

Lucy-Rose concluded: “We have another exciting year ahead as we bring our entrepreneuring revolution to London, with our 13th hub and launch the first free, dedicated fintech accelerator in Scotland. It’s going to be another mind-blowing year.”

The numbers from the Brighton hatchery are particularly impressive, with a combined turnover of £19 million over the past 18 months, alongside £7m worth of investments raised, 395 jobs created and an average turnover of £122k. Overall, £151m worth of investment has been raised across the 12 hatcheries, with £176m entrepreneur turnover. 1,736 companies have been supports and 3,152 jobs created across the UK. The successes of the hatcheries has led to a 163% increase in entrepreneurs across the country, creating the climate we need as a nation to succeed in the future.

Despite a strong economic recovery driven by net job creation and earnings growth, more people than ever are deciding to strike out on their own, suggesting that we are witnessing a sustained cultural shift towards entrepreneurialism rather than a short-term response to the financial crisis and a poor job market. In 2015, 608,110 businesses were started in the UK, which is a new record compared to 2014’s 581,173 start-ups and 526,447 in 2013 – fulfilling Startup Britain’s prediction of over 600,000 start-ups. With the way the numbers are going, and the success of Entrepreneurial Spark across the country, Britain may even be looking at over 3 million start-ups a year, rather than the predicted 600,000.