Britain may be going through an entrepreneurial boom with a record 600,000 businesses starting up during 2015, but one in seven (13%) small business owners – representing over 702,000 of the UK’s 5.4 million SMEs – believe that their business would have better opportunities if it was based in another part of the country.

regionThe survey of 501 business owners who have between 1-249 employees, also showed that half of SME owners (49%) are happy that the region they are based in gives the best opportunities for their business, while a third (31%) are confident that their business would thrive wherever it was based in the UK.

SME owners in the North East were least comfortable that the area their business was based gave them the best opportunities (36%), while in contrast, those based in Wales (69%) felt that they did have the best opportunities available in their own region.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, London was the area of the country that the majority of SME owners felt would provide their business with better opportunities (40%), followed by the wider South East (22%) and the West Midlands (9%).

Commenting on the findings Mark Farrar, chief executive of AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians), which commissioned the research, said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the UK economy and they should be given every encouragement to thrive in all corners of the country. We all know that many smaller firms struggle to survive and it is sad to think that there are some who may feel they would have gained more benefits from being in a different part of the UK.

“Improving the skills of the workforce available to SMEs is one key way in which these companies can be helped to run a highly-efficient business that gives itself every opportunity to succeed.”