Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland business start-ups number rises as wealth creation deals fall

By Joanne Sweeney

Business start-ups in Northern Ireland increased by 12% in the last financial year, but wealth creation deals narrowly declined, it has been claimed.

While there are now 67,000 enterprises here, there were only nine deals creating wealth of £200,000 or more for the parties involved, compared to 10 deals during the previous year.

Those were the main findings of the Barclays and BGF Entrepreneurs Index for the year ending March 2015. The report - issued twice a year to track the UK entrepreneurial life-cycle - highlighted Northern Ireland's ongoing drive to improve innovation.

There are now more than 700 companies in the information, communication and technology sector and more than 20,000 people working in this area.

The sector is supported by the Belfast-based Northern Ireland Science Park at the Titanic Quarter and a newly created innovation centre in the north-west.

The boom in the number of business start-ups echoed a trend seen at a national level, where the number of active companies rose by 3.86% - the biggest rise since the Index began in 2012.

The number of company dissolutions throughout the UK was also lower than in the previous six months - the first time this has happened since the Index began, thereby reversing a three-year trend.

The report showed that the proportion of companies here meeting the high-growth threshold fell by 0.8% in the year to December 2014.

Belfast Telegraph