We're a county of entrepreneurs
The number of new businesses set up in Leicestershire this year is the highest for a decade.
In the first half of 2012, the numbers of new companies registered in Leicestershire was 2,807 – a rise of 11 per cent on 2011 when the number during the same period was 2,528.
They were contained in the Business Confidence Report published by Duport Associates. The company compiles its report using public record data from sources including Companies House, Office for National Statistics and Ordnance Survey.
Its statistics showed this year so far has been the highest for company registrations in Leicestershire since 2003.
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Meanwhile the number of dissolved companies in the county in the first half of this year was 1,716, compared to 1,840 in 2011 – a drop of 6.7 per cent.
Andrew Bacon, chairman of Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP), welcomed the figures.
He said: "I'm delighted that more companies are being formed and fewer are failing – it suggests that our local economy has turned a corner and we are starting to recover. The LLEP's work is helping to create an environment where companies can survive and thrive."
Mr Bacon said LLEP, which was created to boost the economy and bring jobs to Leicestershire, was spearheading a range of schemes such an enterprise zone at Hinckley's Mira site, which will create 2,000 jobs.
The figures for Leicestershire include the city of Leicester, where 1,838 new companies have been registered this year – a rise of 10.8 per cent.
Duport's figures for previous years show the rate of company closures was fairly constant until the recession took hold in 2009 and the number of closures in the first six months of the year reached a high of 1,810.
Caroline Boucher, economic intelligence manager at LLEP, said: "This is more or less in line with the feedback from our business survey, which show positive signs, particularly in manufacturing."
Jacqueline Flanagan, 54, of Leicester, is one of the hundreds of people who set up a business this year. She formed Be Clutter Free With Me, which offers de-cluttering and storage services, in April after a 20-year career in nursing.
She said: "This year was the right time for me to set it up because I had the time to devote to it.
"As Lord Sugar says, 'Even in a recession today is the best time to go for it'. However, I think you can see that people are spending money – the shops in the Highcross are full of people and restaurants are busy.
"I've had a lot of interest but work has come in fairly slowly which has been good because it has kept me going while I've got into the swing of running my own business."