New businesses on rise in Edinburgh

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NEW businesses are booming in Edinburgh as the Capital’s economic recovery kicks in, with a growing number of people choosing to be their own boss.

Postcodes in the city take three of the top ten places in a league table of business start-ups across Scotland. And the number of firms being launched was today hailed as evidence of “a city on the up”.

Across Scotland, new businesses registering with Companies House rose by 19 per cent last year, from 25,500 to 30,263.

The G2 postcode – Glasgow city centre – was the top area for business start-ups.

But EH3 – taking in the New Town, Stockbridge, West End and Tollcross – was second with 1277, and EH6, which covers Leith, ranked third with 918. EH7, which also includes parts of the city centre and Leith, came in fifth place with 778 start-ups.

The statistics, collated by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Scotland, follow Scottish Government figures estimating that more than 340,000 businesses were operating in Scotland last year, the highest since records began.

FSB spokesman Colin Borland said Edinburgh was well-placed to foster a business boom. He said: “There is a level of economic activity by virtue of being the capital city. People are taking advantage of the upturn – they see the city looks on the up and there is the psychological boost from things like seeing the trams running now.”

But some new businesses were the result of a change in circumstances. He said. “People may have lost their jobs in financial services or the public sector and decided this is the push they needed to make the break. It’s great people are taking the plunge and getting set up. The challenge is to make sure they can survive, particularly in that first year.

“That means you have to focus on simple bread and butter things like cash flow, making sure you are paid for the work you do and you are not tied up as soon as you start with regulations designed for businesses far bigger than you.

“There is a lot of good support for start-ups in Edinburgh which makes it easier for people to go on their own.”

A council spokeswoman said nurturing entrepreneurs was at the heart of the city’s strategy for jobs and said more than 2000 people had been supported through its Business Gateway initiative.

Ian’s cup runs over after his leap of faith

ENTREPRENEUR Ian LeBruce, 25, is toasting success after setting up his own company distributing biodegradable cups to coffee shops.

Cappuccino Ads was founded in March last year, selling adverts on the eco-friendly cups to finance the operation, and now Mr LeBruce has two full-time employees and supplies nearly 300 outlets in six cities.

His first plan was to set up his own education business, a website where children could learn through videoclips and podcasts.

“The problem is I was going to be up against world leaders in that field and it would have taken more time and money than I had.”

With support from start-up ‘hatchery’ Entrepreneurial Spark, at South Gyle, he redirected his efforts to the coffee cups.

He said: “I took a leap of faith and just went for it – and it has worked out.”