To celebrate Virgin StartUp turning three, we compiled a report on the state of entrepreneurship in the UK.  What we uncovered drilled home the importance of people following their dreams and hustling hard to turn their ideas into a reality. 

These entrepreneurs, like the thousands we’ve supported through the Start Up Loans scheme, are the engine room of our economy -  fuelling growth, tackling unemployment and helping the UK punch above its weight on a global scale.

The Start-Up Low Down: How start-ups are transforming Britain has been created in partnership with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR). It shows the start-up economy is worth a huge £196bn to the UK every year and that 40% of all active enterprises operating here are start-ups that launched within the last three years.

We were also interested to discover that start-ups account for 12% of all employment in the UK with 3.24m people working across over 1m start-ups. Not only are start-ups employing more people, but they are also helping unemployed people become their own boss. The report discovered that almost half of people to receive a start-up business loan were unemployed when they applied.

The start-up sector experiencing the biggest boom is the information and technology sector, also known as the ‘Flat White Economy.’ This industry saw an 80% increase in the annual number of new start-ups between 2009 until 2014. This rapid growth reflects the demand for digital technologies within the UK.

While these findings paint a positive picture of start-up life in the UK, there’s still more to be done to really help entrepreneurs to prosper.  Over a third of start-ups don’t survive past the three-year mark and at Virgin StartUp we’re on a mission to change that. We already match every entrepreneur who receives a Start Up Loan through us with their own mentor and will be launching new initiatives throughout 2017 with the goal to help more entrepreneurs build sustainable enterprises.

Finally, a message from the boss, Sir Richard Branson: “I’m so proud of everything Virgin StartUp and the thousands of entrepreneurs we support have achieved over the last three years. I’ve seen first hand some fantastic, disruptive businesses, who are making huge progress in their industries.  Our report marks Virgin StartUp’s 3rd birthday and shows the fantastic boost start-ups are bringing to the economy. Entrepreneurship truly is alive and well across the UK.”

Download the report here