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Shropshire’s entrepreneurial talent ‘bodes well for counties future’

Published in the Express and Star Magazine

Shropshire has been hailed as a thriving region for new talent and entrepreneurship which ‘bodes well for the future prosperity of the county’.

Bridgnorth business owner Johnny Themans, who supports start-ups through Good2Great Ltd, said his company had seen an increase in people seeking guidance to start their own business in the past 12 months.

His comments came as recent figures showed more new businesses were established in Shropshire during 2023 than in any previous year to date, according to a report.

A total of 3,480 new formations were registered in Shropshire during the last 12 months, an increase of 11.1 per cent on 2022 when 3,132 were recorded.
It brings the number of registered companies in the county to an all-time high of 28,037.

The statistics, taken from the Inform Direct Review of Company Formations, using data from Companies House and the Office for National Statistics, also showed there were 1,381 company formations in Telford and Wrekin, with the remaining companies established elsewhere in the county.

Mr Themans said: “We’ve provided start-up training services on behalf of the council since 2011 and our county has consistently outperformed national trends for new businesses.

“The shift towards entrepreneurship and self-employment as a mainstream employment decision has been apparent for some time now and it’s been noticeable how this has accelerated in the past 12 months.

“We’ve seen a significant increase in demand from people seeking guidance and support to get started and this bodes well for future survival rates and the future prosperity of the county.”

Shropshire Chamber of Commerce chief executive Ruth Ross added: “We are so fortunate to have such a vibrant, innovative and go-ahead business community.

“The past few years have been an extraordinary journey for us all, but instead of dwelling on the challenges, we’ve embraced them as opportunities to grow, adapt, and create Shropshire business people show remarkable agility and determination, delivering new products and services to a broader array of markets.”

John Korchak, Managing Director at Inform Direct, said of the results: “It is excellent news that Shropshire can celebrate a record year for new company formations during 2023. The year undoubtedly presented a range of challenges for business including tepid predictions of economic growth, volatility in energy prices and uncertainty from world events.

“However, formation figures demonstrate very clearly Shropshire entrepreneurs remain undeterred (by challenges) and pursue their ambitions to establish new ventures.

“This positive picture is mirrored in the overall position for the UK which saw the highest ever number of new companies established during 2023. The total number of UK formations exceeded 900,000 for the very first time.”

The UK saw 900,006 new companies, compared to 805,141 in 2022, which represents an increase of 11.8%. It brings the total number of UK companies to a record 5,476,772.

Dissolutions of UK companies totalled 662,915, an increase on the 578,679 companies dissolved in 2022.

Reflecting on the county’s emerging talent, Ruth added the Best New Business category at the Shropshire Chamber’s annual awards is ‘always one of the most competitive’.

“Once again this year we are also running a Trailblazer award for entrepreneurs who spot a gap in the market, and think outside the boxes to fill it.,” she said. “There are no shortage of start-ups which fit into this category too.”

The closing date for the 2024 Shropshire Chamber Business Awards is April 12. To enter a business for free, see shropshire-chamber.co.uk


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