Start-ups and small or medium sized enterprises thriving thanks to specialist support

Today National Enterprise Network has released its annual membership impact figures, clearly demonstrating the real value its members are having within the enterprise support sector. The data, relating to activity undertaken by NEN members between April 2015 and March 2016, reflects economical challenges being faced by members, but continues to tell a strong story of growth within the enterprise sector. At its flagship annual conference last week NEN launched a new online campaign. #TeamNEN features a short video which focuses on using this new data to demonstrate the power and strength found within the NEN membership network.

Over 80,000 clients supported by NEN members

During this survey period, 80,631 clients across England accessed advice, support and training from NEN members. The membership continues to offer excellent geographical coverage, with the whole of the English population able to access support from an NEN member. Furthermore, clients accessing an NEN member tap into a depth of experience that comes from a combined 1,757 years of trading. 364 non-executive directors support the member organisations, a clear demonstration of the integrity and impartiality that makes up the structure of businesses being run by NEN members.

A strong focus on the end client

The end client is also shown to be very much at the heart of the work of the membership with 1,686 staff employed by members in client-facing roles. The data also debunks any myths about what makes up a typical entrepreneur. With 51% of clients being female, 18% coming from an ethnic background and 23% being aged 50+ this shows a true reflection of both client diversity, and inclusion within the support offer. An even split is also observed when it comes to the stage of businesses being supported – with 45% of clients at the pre-start stage and 55% having established businesses.

A combined loan book value of over £66 million

The combined pool of support being made available by the NEN membership network included a total loan book value of £66,507,051. The data also reveals the diversity of the service offering with many members funding some of their delivery through leasing office and managed workspace to clients. A total of 640,183 square feet of office space is available via NEN members, with 80% of it occupied. Another growing trend is in the provision of virtual office facilities, with 1,537 clients now being supported in this way.

Over 9,000 businesses launched and over 10,000 new jobs created

As for the impact members have on the end client, a solid indicator of performance is found in the statistic which shows the one year survival rate of a new business. 86% of clients who have accessed an NEN member can expect their business to survive past the first year. In the timeframe reviewed, NEN members helped their clients launch 9,339 new businesses and create 10,130 new jobs.

NEN Chief Executive Dawn Whiteley said: “We are delighted to see the scale of impact being made by members of our network. During this period, economic challenges have been faced not just by us, but also by our members and their end clients, and it’s clear that further difficulties lie ahead. However, we take great comfort in the fact that our network remains stronger than ever. What’s more reassuring still, is the fact that accessing this type of enterprise support delivers not just new businesses and new jobs, but businesses that face a healthier outlook. We remain as focused as ever on the fact that the type of businesses being supported by our members have the capability to deliver real benefits to our economy.”

The NEN Membership figures were collated from standardised data provided to National Enterprise Network from each of its members; predominantly, but not exclusively, not-for-profit organisations providing independent and impartial advice, training and mentoring to new and established businesses.


About National Enterprise Network

National Enterprise Network’s Mission is to represent, unite and support all organisations who are passionate about inspiring and encouraging enterprise. We support our membership by: Representing their interests to government and others in the public and private sector, showcasing a unique national network of credible, quality assured enterprise support organisations. Promoting the successes they achieve and demonstrating the value they add to local communities and the wider economy. Connecting them to people and projects inside and outside the Network, to share valuable knowledge, skills and opportunities for even greater success.

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