Local Enterprise Partnerships – and why it’s hardest to be an entrepreneur in the Black Country
Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) were formed by the government in 2011 to create links between businesses and local authorities, with the aim of driving growth and creating jobs.
Four years later, official statistics give an indication of where it's easiest to run a business – by measuring individuals' disposable income in each LEP (although it's worth pointing out the figures are for 2013).
Admittedly, the results weren't earth-shaking: London and the South East makes an impressive showing, with people around Buckinghamshire Thames Valley LEP having the highest gross disposable income, at £23,342. That was followed by London, then the awkwardly-named "Enterprise M3", which covers Hampshire and Surrey, then Hertfordshire.
At the bottom end of the scale was the Black Country, where individuals had just £13,219 to spend. Next were Greater Manchester, Sheffield City Region and Tees Valley LEPs.
It was a similar trend when it came to growth, too: In London, the Marches and Northamptonshire, growth hovered above four per cent. In the Black country, Greater Manchester and Lancashire, it was closer to three per cent.
Which could well suggest that if you're an entrepreneur in the Black Country or Greater Manchester, persuading the locals to part with their hard-earned cash will be a lot more difficult than if you were based in the capital (or, indeed, "Enterprise M3").