South West Regional Skills Enterprise and Employment Analysis 2007/2008
5.2 Small enterprise activity
The South West has the highest proportion of small enterprises of any region in the United Kingdom. Effective support for new and existing business is therefore one of the key tools for supporting increased productivity.
Other indicators of entrepreneurial activity in the South West include(85):
SMEs have particular competitive advantages in the enterprise economy, due to their speed of response compared to larger corporations where ideas have to grind through layers of management and evaluation processes. Hence entrepreneurs and dynamic SMEs are seen as drivers of innovation and growth. They are also, collectively, major employers of young people accounting for 75 percent of youth employment according to the Labour Force Survey.
Analysis of Rural Businesses and the Rural Economy shows that, on average, the size of businesses decreases with rurality:
72% of urban businesses had zero to four employees, while 83% of businesses in isolated rural areas had this level of employment (South West average is 76%).
The provision of training and support needs to be fit for purpose for rural micro and small businesses. The significant contribution that rural businesses make to the region is significant.
(85) Regional Economic Strategy for the South West of
England 2006-2015, South West RDA
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