Red tape is seen as the top barrier to entrepreneurship in the UK

Courtney Goldsmith
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The Third Plenary Session Of The National People's Congress
Warning: Red tape ahead (Source: Getty)

UK entrepreneurs warn red tape is causing a barrier to entering the market, new research suggests.

Too much red tape was cited as the top concern among 46 per cent of respondents to a YouGov survey seen exclusively by City AM.

The issue of red tape was particularly important in the financial services and manufacturing sectors, with 65 per cent and 62 per cent of those surveyed perceiving it as the biggest barrier, respectively.

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Despite the concerns, London-based entrepreneurs were the least likely to see red tape as an issue.

The UK is seen as an "entrepreneur-friendly" country by just over half, or 52 per cent, of small business owners. London-based business owners were the most likely to say Britain is a good place to be an entrepreneur with 60 per cent agreeing with the statement compared to 55 per cent in the Midlands, 48 per cent in the south and 42 per cent in Scotland.

Other top barriers included high taxes and a lack of available financial support from the government.

“As a private bank which tends to deal with entrepreneurs at a later stage in their business cycle, we are seeing a lot more successful entrepreneurs coming to us who have received their initial funding from private investors and alternative sources of finance which is clearly an emerging trend. Over the last decade, alternative forms of finance for fledgling businesses is becoming more widely accepted by younger entrepreneurs who are grateful for the support," said Paul Bentley, head of entrepreneurs at wealth manager Kleinwort Hambros, which commissioned the study.

"London continues to be a focal point for innovation and investment which makes it the ideal place for entrepreneurs to build up and sell their businesses. It is interesting to see from the research that London’s business owners regard red tape as less of an issue than their counterparts in the rest of Britain, which further cements London’s reputation as a great place to develop and grow a business," Bentley added.

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