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Wales sees 2023 start-up boom, new R3 research shows

More than 20,600 start-ups were launched in Wales in 2023, according to new research from R3, the UK’s insolvency and restructuring trade body.

R3’s analysis of data provided by Creditsafe shows 20,675 firms were set-up in Wales in 2023 – a rise of 13.8% from 2022’s total of 18,170.

March was the busiest month in Wales for start-ups in 2023, with 1,992 new businesses launching that month – but this figure was lower than March 2022, the previous year’s busiest month, when 2,116 new firms were set up.

Wales and the West Midlands saw the joint-third largest yearly increase in start-up numbers across the UK regions and nations, proceeded only by Northern Ireland (59.5% rise) and Greater London (14.7% rise).

Tim Sloggett, Chair of R3 in Wales, says: “Amidst tough economic challenges like high inflation, persistent interest rates, and supply chain issues, tens of thousands of entrepreneurs in Wales embraced the opportunity to launch new businesses last year.

“Many of these new ventures are micro and small businesses, owned and run by local people, and will play a crucial role in supporting the growth of the Welsh economy in the year ahead.”

Tim, who is a Managing Director at business advisory firm Quantuma, continues: “Whilst start-ups are the lifeblood of the local economy and it is extremely positive to see this increase, unfortunately, statistics show that approximately 60% of start-ups fail in the first three years. As such, it is really important that directors stay alert to any signs of financial distress and act quickly should they arise.

“Problems paying the bills or staff on time, stock levels piling up and falling revenue are all early indicators a business could be in trouble, and at this point it’s essential to seek advice from a qualified source, whether you’re running a start-up or a more established business.

“R3 members in Wales are highly experienced in supporting companies in this situation and are happy to provide a free initial consultation to learn more about your concerns and help you understand the options you have for resolving them.”