UK entrepreneurs take to the web to boost business knowledge
Analysis reveals spike in people searching for start-up advice online
Nottingham, 19 April 2011 — New insight from Experian®, the global information services company, reveals that the Government’s recently launched start-up push has delivered an immediate increase in the number of people searching online for advice on starting up a business, with proportionally more online interest from people in the North West and the Midlands, and amongst those living in some of the UK’s most remote, rural areas.
Data from Experian Hitwise shows that searches for start-up advice rose 25 per cent during week ending 2nd April as budding entrepreneurs took to the web following the Government’s ‘Budget for Growth’, along with the launch of StartUp Britain, a Government-backed campaign to accelerate enterprise in the UK.
While the close of a financial year typically causes a dip in entrepreneur-fuelled web searches, Experian’s data shows that searches are already 50 percent higher than during the same period in 2010, suggesting a growing number of people interested in running their own business.
Simon Streat, Managing Director, SME, at Experian UK & Ireland, said: “Start-ups need all the advice and support they can get if they are to lead the UK into growth. Too many currently decline or cease trading within a few years as their owners do not always possess the business know-how to go with their creative vision.
“It is very encouraging to see a high volume of web traffic fuelled by budding entrepreneurs looking to learn the basics of starting a business. However it is vital for future business owners to look beyond the short-term and seek advice on how to deliver meaningful and sustained growth – giving them a solid grounding on issues such as how to secure funding, win customers, source suppliers and mitigate risks.”
Michael Hayman, co-founder of StartUp Britain ( www.startupbritain.org), said: “Entrepreneurs are the beating heart of the economic recovery and everything we can do that encourages more people to think about making jobs rather than taking jobs is great news for Britain. The data from Experian is encouraging because it underpins a central objective for StartUp Britain, which is to raise awareness, ambition and action among more people to go for it with their own businesses. Presently some 50 per cent of people want to start a business but only 5.8 per cent actually do. That is a gap that we will actively campaign to close by celebrating, inspiring and accelerating enterprise in the UK.”
The key questions
Practical advice about the hurdles and processes to negotiate when starting up a business was the biggest area of interest when searching for information online. This was followed by information on how to secure grants for a new business. During Q1 2011, 15.5 per cent of all the searches related to starting up a business contained the word ‘grant’, demonstrating how reliant many new entrepreneurs are on funding assistance from the Government.
Sources of advice
Three main information sources stood out as popular destinations for entrepreneurs looking for advice are Business Link, Startups.co.uk and Smallbusiness.co.uk. Together, these websites accounted for over 25 per cent of all search clicks for all search terms relating to starting a new business.
However, when investigating grants to help start up a business, HM Revenue and Customs was the top online destination.
While 42 per cent of traffic to advice portals came from search engines, 15 per cent of traffic came through Government websites. Social networks, such as Facebook – as well as dedicated business sites such as LinkedIn, UK Business forums and MoneySavingExpert forums – were responsible for 5 per cent of all visits.
Where are the entrepreneurs of the future?
The North West and the Midlands were the areas where proportionally more people went online to research how to start a new business.
Drilling down into the top 20 postcodes areas, people in Huddersfield were statistically the most likely to search for business start-up advice online.
Southall and Twickenham were the only Greater London areas to make it into the top 20 postcodes for new business searches – surprising given the concentration of business in London.
The top 20 postcodes for online entrepreneurs comprised a broad mix of rural towns, such as Telford and Truro, and urban centres such as Blackburn and Manchester.
Results from Experian’s Mosaic analysis showed that the spread of visits to business start-up websites was fairly uniform across all population groups. However, the ‘Rural Solitude’ group did stand out, accounting for 5.71 per cent of all visits to business start-up sites, a far higher proportion than expected given the size of this group online.
Rural Solitude represents people of variable affluence who live in small villages, isolated farmhouses or country cottages. These communities, where farming and tourism are the traditional mainstays of the economy, are sufficiently remote from major centres of population not to have become commuter dormitories. They are found in the rural areas of South West England, East Anglia, mid and central Wales, the North Pennines, the Lake District and Scotland.
For more information, visit http://www.experianplc.com .
Ms Serj Heera
0115 992 2773/07837 652169
Tom Kirkham or Fleur Wylie
020 7260 2700
Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients in more than 90 countries. The company helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.
Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2010 was $3.9 billion. Experian employs approximately 15,000 people in 40 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; Costa Mesa, California; and São Paulo, Brazil.
For more information, visit http://www.experianplc.com .