By Daniel Hunter

Entrepreneurial hubs are beginning to flourish beyond London and the South East, according to a new report from Barclays conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

After an extensive survey of trends in entrepreneurial Britain, the report found that, contrary to popular belief, regions outside of the South East can thrive given the right conditions. A Northern corridor running between Liverpool and York, in particular, accounts for an increasing share of British start-ups.

The research also found that labelling “innovation hotspots” produces a compound effect that fosters entrepreneurialism. It concluded that entrepreneurs are made, not born and that entrepreneurialism is something that can be fostered with the right mix of learned skills, opportunity access and confidence.

And it suggested that while policy changes and increased investment mean entrepreneurialism is getting stronger — more could be done to improve the UK’s “entrepreneurial ecosystem”. It identified specific challenges, namely:

- Encouraging entrepreneurial hubs beyond traditional city boundaries
- Strengthening ties between education systems and the business community
- Removing demographic-specific barriers to entrepreneurialism
- Better matching the funding needs of entrepreneurs

The report surveyed experts across industry, academia, government and business about what conditions are needed to support an innovation ecosystem in the UK.

Antony Jenkins, Barclays CEO said: “Entrepreneurs will thrive across the UK if conditions are put in place that allows them to do so. This research shows that business, the education sector and Government can all do more to create thriving entrepreneurial ecosystems across the UK.

“The Northern corridor is an example of a successful hub establishing itself outside London and the South East. It shows is can be done. The challenge now is for all interested parties to do more to create those conditions elsewhere.

“A thriving entrepreneurial industry in the UK will create jobs and growth and have a knock-on effect to the wider UK economy. It has to be a good thing.”

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