By Daniel Hunter

There has been a 110% rise in the number of start-up programmes in the UK over the last three years, according to O2.

The the mobile network provider suggested that start-ups that participate in support programmes are more likely to survive than those that don’t.

The report suggests that not only are incubated and accelerated start-ups likely to secure significant financial investment — on average more than £68,000 once they’ve graduated — but the support and guidance they receive gives them an invaluable edge versus their competition.

Of those programmes able to quantify the number of start-ups still operating, the survival rate for start-ups reaches almost 92%, compared to a two-year survival rate of 75.6% for all small businesses.

The research examines the incubator and accelerator ecosystem as a whole, revealing a more than 110% rise in the number of formal programmes operating over the past three years, with some 59 programmes supporting more than 1,100 start-ups in 2014 alone.

The report also reveals who is driving such rapid growth. Over 40% of all the start-up programmes in the UK are currently privately run, with a third of these receiving backing from public sector organisations. A further 12% are owned by large corporate enterprises, with Telefónica, John Lewis, Barclays and Distill Ventures (Diageo) all launching their own programmes, while another 25% are affiliated to educational organisations such as Universities or Business Schools.

Feilim Mackle, O2’s Sales & Service Director and O2 Board sponsor for Wayra in the UK, said: “Start-ups play an important part in contributing to the innovation the UK needs to remain globally competitive, and the report shows that accelerated start-ups have a far greater chance of success.

"The rise in UK start-up programmes creates a unique opportunity for the entrepreneurs, but only if businesses and the Government take responsibility for investing in these programmes to ensure they offer long-term, quality support. A loss in momentum could see some of the UK’s best entrepreneurial talent go to waste.”

Business Minister Matthew Hancock said:

“With more than double the number of incubators and accelerators today than in 2011, the UK is fast becoming the best place in the world to start and grow a business. From London’s Tech City to exciting new clusters in Birmingham, Edinburgh and Manchester, large companies and Government are coming together to help foster exciting new businesses. We’re creating an environment where entrepreneurs can hone their ideas and thrive. We back Britain’s entrepreneurs every step of the way and always will.”

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