There was good news for would-be entrepreneurs in the Home Counties today, as the South East region was named the safest area to start a new business, beating out London to claim the top spot.

The UK Startup Ecosystems Report, conducted by insurance providers Jelf, looked at 11 data points from the Office for National Statistics such as new business incorporations, liquidations, disposable income per household and unemployment rate to rank each region of the UK.

The riskiest region in which to start a new business was the North East, which scored just 49 out of a possible 132. Northern Ireland, the West Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber didn’t fare much better, scoring 51, 53 and 54 respectively. North of the border, Scotland ranked a respectable fourth with an overall score 84 – however the South East’s score of 101 saw it pull clear of second-place London, with 97.

Although the study may be cause for alarm for entrepreneurs in lower ranking regions, the results did reveal some interesting figures showing the business community is fighting back. Although startups in Northern Ireland had the second-highest chance of failing, the region had the highest number of business support schemes – 209 compared to just 113 in London. The study also found that Northern Ireland and Wales had more failing businesses than new – the number of startups in those regions is actually decreasing.

Jelf’s Paul Williams said of the research:

“If there are any positives that we can take from the recent economic downturn, the UK’s renewed entrepreneurial spirit is definitely one of them.¬†With more and more startups popping up across the UK, we thought it would be interesting to examine what makes the perfect environment for entrepreneurial activity.”

Photo by Shaun Dunphy