Barclays Eagle Labs identifies 2022 as a year of growth for business

Jon Hope
Jon Hope

Entrepreneurs in the UK predict strong business growth of 37 percent for 2021, as new research from Oxford-based Barclays Eagle Labs highlights support that could help unlock further growth for early stage businesses.

Fifty-eight percent anticipate an increase in turnover in the next year, with the South West (72 percent) the most optimistic region, followed by London (67 percent), the South East (66 percent), Wales (60 percent), the East of England (60 percent), the Midlands (56 percent) and the North West (55 percent).

Barclays Eagle Labs, a growing network of business hubs across the UK, found that businesses are also set to expand their workforces, as more than half (55 percent) anticipate hiring more staff in the next year, with London (83 percent) followed by the North West (68 percent) and the North East & Yorkshire (61 percent) having the highest proportion of businesses looking to do so.

The predicted growth reflects a continued trend, as payments data revealed increased activity among small businesses, with transactions to SMEs having risen by nearly two-fifths (38 percent) beyond pre-pandemic levels.

And, despite the challenges of the past two years, business owners have proven resilient, as 66 per cent of founders would still recommend starting a business to others, with only 11 per cent in UK responding that they would not.

However, business founders also pointed to the additional support they need to unlock their potential, as over a quarter (29 percent) responded that access to mentor and investor advice would help to grow their business, 28 percent would like help in accessing networks and 26 percent would benefit from access to growth programmes, such as business accelerators.

Jon Hope, director of Eagle Labs at Barclays, said: “It’s great to see the optimism and resilience business owners across the UK have shown, despite the challenges faced in the past two years.

“By uncovering how the ambitions of start-up businesses can be better supported, we’re confident that with the right support and advice, and access to networks and mentorship that we know are crucial, UK entrepreneurs will continue to drive innovation and economic success nationwide.”