NEW businesses in Southampton have a better chance of surviving their first year than almost anywhere else in the country, research suggests.

The city is fourth in a league table of areas with the lowest start-up “death rates”.

Analysis of official data by CircleLoop found there were 1,960 new businesses in Southampton in 2019 and 930 failures – a “death” rate of 46.02 per cent.

Bromsgrove topped the league table, with a 36.76 per cent of start-up death, followed by Wyre Forest and Redditch. The West Midlands dominated the league table’s national top 10.

Damian Hanson, co-founder of CircleLoop, a challenger in the market for business phone systems, said: “We hope to see that even after the struggles of 2020, people will continue to take the entrepreneurial step into setting up their own business.

“After the year we all had, it’s possible that our macroeconomic climate has driven more people to create either a new business to replace a lost job or even a ‘side hustle’ business to compensate for the loss of income in 2020 due to Covid-19.

“Starting your own business is a huge challenge, and the first few years can be gruelling. In fact, it’s not unusual to see new business enterprises fail within the first year.

“However, with the right idea and plenty of resilience and perseverance, a startup might just be successful.

“Luckily, there is so much technology these days from online communication tools such as CircleLoop and video meeting spaces such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams.”

The research found the south east had 54,795, second only to London’s 99,545.

The highest number of start-ups was found support services such as call centres, trade show organisers and other business support.

There were 43,765 such businesses.

Transport was the industry with the lowest death rate for start-ups, with 51.73 per cent of businesses failing in the first year.

Southampton named one of the top places in the UK for “entrepreneurial potential”

Southampton has been rated business-friendly by a succession of surveys. Last year, a report by a former Bank of England economist for Atos rated it number seven among the UK’s towns and cities ranked by their “entrepreneurial potential”.