The Barclays Entrepreneurs Index has painted a mixed and worsening picture for this important client segment and wealth generator in the UK.
M&A activity has increased since 2015, now up to 505 deals so far this year, surpassing the 395 in 2016 and significantly higher than the 335 deals in 2011.
However, IPO exits are sharply down, as are management buyouts and buy-ins.
Less stable and in decline
Barclays said, while entrepreneurial outputs are at their strongest since 2011, the growth patterns driving this output have been less stable.
Among the report’s key findings, the number of high growth companies in the UK has been steadily declining in the past three years.
High growth companies peaked at 6,185 in 2013, and since then this figure has dwindled to only 4,140. This tracks alongside the trend Barclays’ researchers has seen in the decline of both traditional venture capital and expansion funding.
The number of companies that have received seed, start up or early stage venture capital is at an all-time low according to Barclays, and is now at just 244 companies nationwide.
Year-on-year, expansion investment is down, and from its all-time high of 334 companies in 2011, has dropped drastically to just 284 companies.
While growth for entrepreneurial companies is down for the second year in a row Barclays found that the number of new businesses was “booming” with high levels of new firms incorporating.