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Is there really a North/South Divide?


December 11, 2012

Does geography mean you’ll be more successful?

I recently went on a tour of the new Media City studios and heard about the BBC moving everyone from the South up to Salford.
This got me thinking about the North/South divide and the differences in Business?
Whilst the rest of the country suffers recession there is still a very vibrant business economy in London with a reported 10 jobs advertised to every 1 job in the North.

So how does this fare for new businesses? The South East and East Midlands are the Regions expected to see the highest economic growth currently. The North East has been the hardest hit Northern Region in terms of public sector cuts and financial stress on households.

Boots also report a North/South divide at trade in their own stores. The reduced footfall was most significant outside of London significantly in Wales, Northern Ireland and North Yorkshire.

These figures for bigger business may not bode well for the smaller business but statistics show that the divide is not so clear cut. Nationally, taking Britain as a whole, 1 in 4 Britons want to start their own businesses but Scots are lagging behind in these statistics for fear of job security.

A survey conducted by Sage on behalf of YouGov, found that Britain is composed of hot spots of entrepreneurial intentions and that the country’s economy could come to rely less on London and the South East for business growth.
Cities such as Newcastle, Sunderland, Sheffield and Leeds are likely to be the areas where new businesses will be springing up, with the North East having the highest percentage of budding entrepreneurs (11%).
Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North West are where Entrepreneurial Britain is low with just 1 in 20 (5%) people planning on starting their own business, which is surprising bearing in mind that Warrington and Preston were recognized by Centre for Cities as the two most progressed towns in Urban Britain.

Women lead the way in focusing on retail as an area to start up a business. 1 in 5 (21%) women are focusing on starting a retail outfit compared to men (12%).

So given the varied hotspots for people in the UK starting businesses, if you are outsourcing any services or even supplying support services such as being a Virtual Assistant, you do not have to be bound by geography, it makes sense to pitch where the work is.

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