An analysis of Companies House data by audit, tax and consulting firm RSM has revealed that the number of tech start-ups in the North West has more than doubled since the EU referendum.
In the eight month period prior to the referendum in June 2016, 175 software publishing, computer programming, and business and domestic software companies in the North West were incorporated. However, in the eight month period following the referendum, this jumped to 449.
Nationally, the number of tech company incorporations rose from 2325 to 5995 during the same period.
While the increase was particularly high in London and the South East, the North West was the third highest among the British regions.
Jonathan Lowe, RSM’s head of technology in the North West said: ‘There were fears that the Brexit vote would dampen activity in the tech sector and businesses would be attracted overseas. In reality, they are staying and multiplying and we’ve seen a strong rise in incorporations across the North West, particularly in Greater Manchester. This strongly suggests that the entrepreneurial spirit in the region’s tech scene is alive and well.
‘Nationally, we saw a dip in tech company incorporations in the lead up to the referendum, no doubt due to uncertainty surrounding the outcome. However, angel investors, venture capitalists and private equity firms continue to support and invest in UK tech, with overseas investors particularly attracted by the current weakness in sterling. The availability of tax breaks such as the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme and the Enterprise Investment Scheme is also helping to encourage investment activity.
‘The downside of this surge in activity is that the war for talent is fiercer than ever. As the proportion of EU workers in the tech sector is far higher than the average many businesses will want an early resolution to the issue of the status of EU workers in addition to clarity over their ability to recruit overseas talent post-Brexit. ’