North East second only to London as UK’s entrepreneurial capital in 2018

12 January 2018

People in the North East are more likely to start their own business or invest in someone else’s this year than those in nearly every other region of the UK according to a new poll on New Year’s resolutions for Gateshead-based international development charity Traidcraft Exchange.

Timed to coincide with the launch of the Hidden Entrepreneur appeal in which the UK Government will match every donation made by the public, the poll conducted by independent research company Populus found that 1 in 10 people from the North East planned to start a new business in 2018 and more than 1 in 14 would invest in someone else’s. This puts the North East joint second with the North West, behind only London in enthusiasm for start-ups.

“I know from my own experience that the North East is an entrepreneurial hub so it’s a perfect match for Traidcraft Exchange’s Hidden Entrepreneur appeal through which people can both give more to charity and invest in the businesses of people who really need that support,” said Andy Stephenson, Founder of Weekend Box Club – a successful business based in Newcastle which has won a series of start-up awards.

Traidcraft Exchange’s Hidden Entrepreneur appeal is part of the Government’s UK Aid Match scheme under which every donation from the public is matched by a contribution from the Department for International Development.

“In the world’s poorest countries, farming is often the main source of income and yet the majority of farmers still live in poverty,” said International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt.

“By matching donations to Traidcraft Exchange’s Hidden Entrepreneur appeal, UK aid will help thousands of people in Kenya, Senegal and Bangladesh develop the business know-how needed run sustainable enterprises. This in turn will create better futures for their families and communities,” added Penny Mordaunt.

The Hidden Entrepreneur appeal will run from midnight on 12th January to 11th April 2018.

“Every pound donated by the public before 11th April will be matched by the UK Government, enabling us to help double the number of budding entrepreneurs in Kenya, Bangladesh and Senegal,” said Robin Roth, Chief Executive of Traidcraft Exchange.


For more information or to interview Andy Stephenson or Robin Roth contact Tom Sharman: or 07757 753 318

Notes for editors:

  • Traidcraft Exchange is an international development charity which uses the power of trade to bring about lasting solutions to poverty and injustice. It works closely with specialist fair trade company Traidcraft plc. Traidcraft Exchange is a registered charity, no. 1048752. To donate to the Hidden Entrepreneur appeal go to:
  • The UK Aid Match scheme is run by the Department for International Development, and brings charities, the British public and the UK government together to collectively change the lives of some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. For every £1 donated to a selected charity appeal, the government will also contribute £1 of UK aid to enable the charity to go further in changing and saving lives, up to a total of £5 million per appeal. Organisations must be UK-based, non-governmental and not-for-profit and be running an appeal set to raise at least £100,000, within a 3 month appeal period. Donations must be from people (not businesses) living in the UK and go towards an eligible international development project. For further information and guidance, please visit  
  • Traidcraft Exchange commissioned independent research company Populus to interview a random sample of 2,118 UK adults aged 18+ from its online panel between 29-30th November 2017. Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. Populus is a founder member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at
  • 10% of people (1 in 10) in the North East surveyed by Populus answered ‘strongly agree’ or ‘somewhat agree’ to the statement: “One of my New Year’s resolutions will be to start a business in 2018”. This compares to 16% of people in London and 10% in the North West.
  • 7% of people (more than 1 in 14) in the North East surveyed by Populus answered ‘strongly agree’ or ‘somewhat agree’ to the statement: “One of my New Year’s resolutions will be to invest in someone else’s new business in 2018”. This compares to 10% of people in London and 7% in the North West.
  • All of the data from the Populus survey can be found here:
Tom Sharman