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Entrepreneurs gaining ground

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The number of entrepreneurs starting up new businesses has risen substantially in the first three months of the year, research has revealed.

Research from Barclays showed that 110,300 new businesses started up in the first quarter of 2006, almost one-quarter more than in the same period last year (88,800).

John Davis, marketing director for local business at Barclays, said: “A strong cyclical rebound in people starting a business has occurred in the first quarter but despite the high levels, the trading conditions for small business are still quite tough.

“We expect a more widespread improvement in small business trading conditions to occur later in 2006 and into 2007 as the current economic conditions pick up, providing improving opportunities for more individuals to set up and grow their business.”

Property services led the way with start volumes around 43 per cent higher than the first quarter last year. However, the greatest absolute increases were seen in Business & Financial Services (up 6,100) and Motor Trades, Wholesale and Retail (up 4,100).

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