Friday 16 December 2016 1:53 pm

Entrepreneurs remain positive about UK as a home for startups

The majority of startups remain positive about the UK as a location to set up a business, new research shows.

Some 85 per cent of nearly 200 entrepreneurs quizzed by the Institute of Directors (IoD) said they would still pick Britain over anywhere else in Europe as a startup location.

A majority (57 per cent) said they have so far not noticed any impact on their business since the Brexit vote. A third (34 per cent) said it had negatively affected their business, while eight per cent said it had been positive.

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Longer term, the entrepreneurs were a little more pessimistic. More than half (54 per cent) said the vote will likely hinder the growth of their business, compared with 17 per cent who said it would be a boost and 30 per cent who said it would have no effect.

Asked about priorities in Brexit negotiations, 68 per cent said securing continued membership of the Single Market in services was very important.

Over the next 12 months, access to skilled employees was named as a priority by the entrepreneurs, with digital infrastructure also important.

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“The UK has created a healthy environment for entrepreneurs in recent years, and this survey confirms that it is still a great place to set up a business,” said Simon Walker, director general of the IoD.

“Brexit will inevitably pose challenges for new businesses, particularly in being able to recruit the right people to enable them to grow rapidly. New industries are providing opportunities for British workers, but specific skills in developing areas are always scarce. Even after the UK leaves the EU, our immigration policy will have to remain open to the best and brightest from across the world.”