Barclays Eagle Labs identifies 2022 as a year of growth for business



Entrepreneurs in the UK predict strong business growth of 37% for 20221, as new research from Barclays Eagle Labs highlights support that could help unlock further growth for early-stage businesses.

Jude Cook, Co-Founder and CEO at ShareIn and Barclays Eagle Labs

Barclays Eagle Labs, a growing network of business hubs across the UK, found the optimism shared among Scottish businesses owners, as 49%of businesses in Scotland anticipate an increase in turnover in the next year, while more than half (51%) of businesses in Scotland anticipate hiring more staff.

The predicted growth reflects a continued trend, as payments data revealed increased activity among small businesses, with transactions to SMEs across the UK having risen by nearly two-fifths (38%) beyond pre-pandemic levels.

And, despite the challenges of the past two years, business owners in Scotland have proven resilient, as 71% of founders would still recommend starting a business to others, compared to 66%UK wide, with only nine per cent in Scotland responding that they would not.

However, business founders also pointed to the additional support they need to unlock their potential, as a fifth (20%) of Scottish business owners responded that access to mentor and investor advice would help to grow their business, a fifth (22%) would like help in accessing networks and 22%would benefit from access to growth programmes, such as business accelerators.

Jon Hope, director of Eagle Labs at Barclays, said: “It’s great to see the optimism and resilience business owners across have shown, despite the challenges faced in the past two years.

“By uncovering how the ambitions of start-up businesses can be better supported, we’re confident that with the right support and advice, and access to networks and mentorship that we know are crucial, UK entrepreneurs will continue to drive innovation and economic success nationwide.”

Case study: ShareIn, Edinburgh

One business who has benefitted from a network and local business ecosystem that Eagle Labs works to develop and grow is Edinburgh based ShareIn, a technology company that provides investment businesses with a platform that they can use to receive investments directly from their networks. Founded by Jude Cook and Andrew Pickett, ShareIn have been residents at the CodeBase business incubator since its launch in 2014 and have remained headquartered in the start-up hub after it became home to the first Barclays Eagle Lab in Scotland in 2018.

Jude Cook, co-founder and CEO at ShareIn, commented: “A strong network has been key in ShareIn’s success. As a first time founder, building bonds between other organisations and businesses was essential and having the support network of other early stage start-ups that grew up together helped us get off the ground and grow to where we are today.

“Andrew and I met because of local business networks, at an Edinburgh University Business School event, and subsequently shared a hot desk space in the incubator. Now we’ve grown, but collaboration within the Edinburgh ecosystem and wider remains crucial in scaling ShareIn even further, allowing consumers to invest in and fund the businesses they genuinely care about.”



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