By Daniel Hunter

The UK is launching more new start-ups than ever before, according to Barclays and equity investor Business Growth Fund (BGF).

The latest Entrepreneurs Index shows that the number of start-ups in the UK is up 3.7%, taking the total number of active companies in Britain to 3.14 million.

The survey showed that the number of people aged 18-64 staring their own business was up 8.6%.

Despite a growing number of entrepreneurs and start-ups, they aren't growing as strongly. The Entrepreneurs Index found that the proportion of businesses reporting revenues of between £2.5m and £100m fell from 23.2% to 21%.

The figures indicate that either start-ups are struggling to grow the business, or are choosing to remain a small operation - they could be trying to stay under the £81,000 VAT registration turnover threshold. The percentage of VAT-registered businesses in the UK fell from 41.3% to 39.5%.

Richard Phelps, head of corporate and employer solutions at Barclays, said: “Our research clearly shows that the UK has reignited the entrepreneurial flame, evidenced by a strong and healthy start-up scene.

“However, we believe there is more to be done in fostering high growth companies and helping these entrepreneurs to realise their growth ambitions if the economy is really going to benefit from this entrepreneurial spirit.”