There were a record 5.4 million private sector businesses at the start of 2015 – cementing Britain’s status as a nation of entrepreneurs.

However, amidst all the excitement and optimism of launching a new venture, the unwelcome truth is often ignored: unfortunately, most of these enterprises are doomed to failure.

Research conducted by commercial property developers Savoy Stewart,* collated figures from The Office of National Statistics which reveal that 44% of new UK businesses close within only three years of opening – and for every 10 new business start-ups, seven existing businesses fold.

To put it bluntly, that’s 70% of new businesses in the UK which ultimately fail!

If you are looking to set up a new business, then moving to Northampton is a good consolation and may be the key to a successful business with a success rate of 53%! Compare this to Plymouth where the likelihood of your business failing is 91%!

The map below is a snippet of an interactive map identifying areas that are most successful and least successful when setting up a business.

Credit: Savoy Stewart

Darren Best of Savoy Stewart, is optimistic about the UK’s current steady economic growth – ideal conditions for new start -ups and urges entrepreneurs to thoroughly research the local business infrastructure first:

“Although these statistics seem shocking, the fact that more businesses are being born than closing down indicates that the UK is experiencing steady economic net growth. This is true of the whole country, even if that growth is higher in some places than in others! This is good news for the British economy, and for anyone thinking of setting up a business.

“However, the high failure rate, particularly of small businesses, also highlights just how important it is for anyone thinking of setting up on their own to research thoroughly first. As well as considering the types of business that succeed in their area, potential entrepreneurs need to look closely at the local business infrastructure in terms of the availability of commercial office space and workforce, local enterprise networks and facilities, start-up financing and business support.”


New business growth, success and failure**










** Tables/graphs provided by Savoy Stewart