Why 2016 could be a record year for UK startups embracing the "Brexit spirit"

William Turvill
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More than 10,000 startups were launched in Camden in the first six months of this year (Source: Getty)

More than 600 startups launched per day in London in the first six months of 2016, new figures show. And Startup Britain, which compiled the figures, believes the “Brexit spirit” will lead to this year being a record-breaker for new companies in the UK.

Across the country as a whole, 342,927 companies were started between January and June. And nearly a third, 109,443, sprouted in the capital.

Read more: The sharing economy could be worth £140bn in 10 years

Westminster was the London hotspot for startups, with 10,975 launched, according to Startup Britain analysis of Companies House data. It was followed by Camden (10,740), Hackney (9,457), Barnet (5,894), Islington (5,454) and the City of London (4,391).

Matt Smith, a director of the Centre for Entrepreneurs think tank who co-founded Startup Britain, told City A.M. the looming EU referendum did not appear to have dampened the flow of startups, with 2016 levels set to top a record-breaking 2015. He also suggested startup activity could be boosted by a “Brexit spirit”.

Smith said: “Entrepreneurship is a personal endeavour and it is driven by individuals with a passion for turning a business idea into reality. There are always risks and uncertainties in the world, but as we can see, these do not dampen Britain's entrepreneurial spirit.”

Read more: These are the results of the first post-Brexit survey of tech startups

Asked if Brexit was a concern for startups, he said: “I've spoken to entrepreneurs who were supporters of Remain who feel any adverse effects will be short-term and that the ‘Brexit spirit’ will give a boost to startups compared to larger, more cumbersome businesses.”

On London’s performance, he added: “Part of London's appeal is that it is a global city – it is where European entrepreneurs come to go global. Here are the ideas, the talent, the funding and the subsidiary services. It's a powerful pull force that no other city on earth can match and this won't change.”

London Boroughs Total new businesses January-June 2016
Westminster 10,975
Camden 10,740
Hackney 9,457
Barnet 5,894
Islington 5,454
City of London 4,391
Newham 3,846
Wandsworth 3,589
Croydon 3,488
Redbridge 3,458
Tower Hamlets 3,272
Southwark 3,166
Harrow 2,978
Ealing 2,951
Enfield 2,901
Brent 2,846
Hillingdon 2,406
Waltham Forest 2,285
Haringey 2,263
Kensington and Chelsea 2,091
Hounslow 2,086
Merton 2,080
Lambeth 2,059
Greenwich 1,849
Hammersmith and Fulham 1,775
Bromley 1,720
Lewisham 1,694
Barking and Dagenham 1,579
Richmond upon Thames 1,439
Havering 1,429
Bexley 1,300
Sutton 1,034
Kingston upon Thames 948
London total 109,443