Despite this, business confidence levels are dropping which is an issue that start-up support programmes are working to combat
Over 17,000 new Welsh businesses have launched in 2023; a 13.7% increase since 2022. Despite this, business confidence levels in Wales are beginning to decrease, according to new research from trading association R3.
Charlotte May, chair of R3 in Wales, said: “In Q2 2023 Wales had the weakest levels of business confidence across the UK. If this continues in 2024, we might see start-up rates drop.”
Welsh start-up numbers have been increasing, yet this recent drop in business confidence makes 2024’s numbers harder to predict. For start-up success to continue, May said: “It’s vital that business owners are vigilant and seek expert advice.”
In South Wales there are many initiatives to support start-ups and provide them with the advice that they may need. For example, Newport-based charity Alacrity UK helps budding entrepreneurs on their start-up journey.
Alacrity UK is offering a free tech and cyber entrepreneurship start-up programme. Aimed at graduates, tech enthusiasts and people with entrepreneurial drive, the 12-month mentorship course helps get business ideas off the ground. Participants on the programme also receive a monthly tax-free stipend of £1,500, setting Alacrity apart from other courses.
Lauren Thomas, Alacrity’s office manager, said: “We support start-ups in their crucial early stages, cultivating a resilient and confident generation of entrepreneurs. Our cohorts learn the essential disciplines necessary for success.”
Similar initiatives are also available in Cardiff, with Tramshed Tech offering seven different support programmes for start-ups.
Lucy Hopkins, head of communications at Tramshed Tech, said: “Founders often lack confidence due to a lack of experience.” It hopes to combat this in a 10-week start-up academy, which provides 1:1 mentorship sessions, structured content and networking opportunities.
If young entrepreneurs take advantage of the support available to them, the future will continue to look bright for the start-ups of South Wales.