If you live in Worthing, Chichester, Littlehampton, Bognor Regis or within the Coastal West Sussex region, chances are you know someone who runs their own, or works for, a micro-business, as the area has a slightly higher percentage rate than the national average (at 89.71%).
Defined as a business with fewer than 10 employees, micro-businesses are booming locally and with a broad range of great resources on offer for startup companies, many are still in business and show strong five year growth (47.23% of businesses studied in a recent Coastal West Sussex report were still in business after five years) and an infectious entrepreneurial spirit, it’s easy to see why.
Since 2010, 900 new businesses have been created in the region, taking our total to 18,700. This also includes a 10% increase in creative and digital startups, with over 1,800 enterprises employing over 5,600 people and an annual turnover of more than £200m.
Coastal West Sussex also has a thriving marine sector (over 1,030 enterprises, employing almost 5,000 residents, averaging 4.85 employees each), a flourishing tourism sector (1,995 enterprises employing over 18,000 people, averaging at 9 employees each) and growing advanced manufacturing and engineering sector (830 enterprises employing over 7,500 people, an average of 9 employees per business). These sectors are all dominated by micro-businesses taking advantage of competitive labour costs, a great environment and the unrivalled work/life balance available to them – who wouldn’t want to be able to go to the beach or for a walk on the South Downs after work?
To cope with demand – and also provide inspiring community hubs – for our micro-businesses, office spaces including Chichester’s £6m Enterprise Centre, affordable creative workspace Colonnade House and co-working space Freedom Works have recently opened. These enterprises get entrepreneurs working outside of their homes and forging vital links with other micro business owners, as their companies grow, which is proven to be key for business relationships and longevity.
“Our region is a vibrant and thriving area for businesses of all sizes – big or small, to prosper in,” Caroline Wood, director of the Coastal West Sussex Partnership says.
“From our stunning, yet accessible location, with plenty of amenities for a great work/ life balance, to significantly lower commercial premises and housing costs than the rest of the South East, it’s easy to see why many businesses are choosing to base themselves here.
“We hope that even more businesses will join us in the region.”