Micro-businesses 'flourishing' across the UK

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Micro-businesses 'flourishing' across the UK (image credit: iStock/NicoElNino)

Micro-businesses are becoming increasingly common throughout Britain, new research has revealed.

According to figures from Direct Line, 2.17 million businesses with nine employees or fewer are currently active across the UK.

The average turnover of UK-based micro-businesses was found to be £286,879, compared with £703,419 in the SME sector.

Figures showed that nearly one in five of these companies operate on a turnover of less than £50,000. However, more than 23,500 micro-businesses were found to have achieved a turnover of more than £1 million.

Direct Line believes this shows how success does not necessarily have to be linked to the size of an organisation.

Nick Breton, head of Direct Line for Business, commented: "Britain is a nation of entrepreneurs, as highlighted by the fact that there are nearly 34 micro-businesses for every 1,000 people in the UK.  

"These enterprises account for 89 per cent of all companies across the UK which is a huge contribution to the business economy."

South-east England and London appears to be the main focal point for micro entrepreneurship in the UK.

More than 400,000 micro-businesses were found to be located in London, which makes up 18 per cent of the nationwide total.

The figure means that there are 47 micro-businesses for every 1,000 people in London - a higher ration than anywhere else in the country.

South-east England was not far behind the capital, as it is home to 337,385 micro-businesses, which gives it a 15.5 per cent share of the UK total.

Mr Breton acknowledged that it is not surprising to see London and the south-east accounting for more than a third of the nation's micro-businesses.

"Families in these areas are often seeking to gain extra sources of income by turning their hobbies into professions.”

The east of England was also found to be have a relatively large proportion of micro-businesses, with the figure standing at 216,700. This is ten per cent of the nationwide total and equates to 36 micro-businesses for every 1,000 people.

North-west England, meanwhile, was found to be home to 207,190 micro-businesses - which is 9.5 per cent of the overall figure for the UK. This works out to 29 micro-businesses per 1,000 people.