Unsurprisingly, London leads the way with 17.2% of the total firmly rooted in the capital. It also saw the sharpest rise, up 3.5%, with 13,000 businesses popping up in the last year. The south east is also performing well, with 15.7% of businesses calling it home.
The national obsession with property was reflected in the results: the number of property firms increased by 3,000 bringing the grand total to 80,000. The somewhat loose category of 'professional, scientific and technical' businesses saw 14,000 extra firms added in the past year.
According to the London Chamber of Commerce, TV has had a part to play with the rapid increase – with certain popular shows making entrepreneurialism proper trendy.
‘Dragon’s Den and The Apprentice have helped make business cool, and so has the ethnic factor,’ said deputy chief Peter Bishop.
‘For instance, the Indian business community is very active, with a great contribution to the London economy. And if you look at young people in the community, their role models are often business people.’
It’s great news for the UK, which is charging ahead with its recovery. The service sector was the star of the show yesterday, its third-quarter growth the strongest in 16 years.
‘There is no mistake the economy is growing jolly fast,’ said David Tinsley, an economist at BNP Paribas.