Friday, October 8, 2010

News: Research reveals that Rotherham is a new business boom town


Royal Mail's latest business start-up barometer reveals that Rotherham is a hot spot for enterprise.

The report found that 1.86% of all the businesses in Rotherham are start up businesses, a figure that is second only to Sunderland in the whole of the UK.

The barometer, which is compiled every six months using Royal Mail's Business Changes File, reveals a 13 per cent rise in new companies in the UK, with 4,400 more small businesses being set up between the beginning of March and the end of August 2010 than in the previous six months.

Keith Jones, Head of Data Strategy at Royal Mail, said: "The picture for start-up companies in the UK is optimistic and we should take this as a good sign that throughout the UK there is a lot of opportunity and entrepreneurial spirit despite the difficult economic climate."

The data used in the barometer also showed that the percentage of start up businesses has increased in Rotherham, with the latest figure higher than the same period last year (1.36%) and even before the economic downturn (1.51%).

Recent projects established to further boost enterprise levels in the borough are making an impact.

The Rotherham Enterprise Project offers professional support for businesses and is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). It is being delivered by RiDO, RYE, VAR and the chamber. The project has been running for 14 months and the Community Businesses Coaches have had 780 enquiries, which has lead to 119 new start-ups, which has created 141 jobs.

Tim O'Connell, Business and Retail Investment Manager for Rotherham Investment and Development Office (RiDO), said the figures proved that Rotherham was on the right track in attracting and nurturing people who have the ambition and drive to start up on their own.

He said: "We are delighted that the Royal Mail's figures on the number of new businesses starts in Rotherham reflect our own findings and indicate that our hard work is bearing fruit.

"We know there are plenty of people out there with great business ideas and we like to think that with our help and experience we can help them set up in business, and more importantly, grow their business."

The Enterprise Board in Rotherham, also funded by the ERDF, provides the strategic direction to enterprise support in the borough, with the aim of driving up local enterprise levels. Made up of Rotherham entrepreneurs who want to give something back to the community, the Board's focus is to make the borough a centre of sustainable, diverse and growing businesses and a place where anyone wishing to start a business can get all the support and help needed.

John Wainwright, Chair of Rotherham Enterprise Board welcomed the findings of the Royal Mail research. He said: "This is excellent news for Rotherham and I'm sure it is a trend that will continue as the Enterprise Board and its partners work to drive the entrepreneurial spirit of the borough even further.

"The Board have had the pleasure of engaging with many pre start and early stage businesses over the past months as a result of its innovative events and mentor programmes and without a doubt their drive and enthusiasm to succeed has been awe-inspiring."

In addition, Rotherham Ready, the project that works with schools and colleges to embed enterprise in education from 4-19 and beyond, is representing Rotherham in the Enterprising Britain competition for 2010, where they have reached the final three.

Rotherham Enterprise project website
Rotherham Enterprise Board website
Rotherham Ready website


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