Using Banksearch business start-up data we are now able to report on the number of sole trader (legal status) start-ups occurring month by month since the beginning of 2008.

EDT and the Enterprise Partnership have a key interest in looking at the number of sole trader/self employment start-ups in the borough as this contributes to our performance reporting for Enterprise related indicators and shows a more accurate picture of entrepreneurial activity rates in the borough. Historically we have been unable to monitor and report on this because the national data available only captures VAT and PAYE registered businesses.

A sole trader also known as sole proprietorship is a type of business entity which is owned and run by one individual and where there is no legal distinction between the owner and the business. All profits and all losses accrue to the owner (subject to taxation). The Banksearch data is based on detailed individual account-level transactions data for new business starts. Participation in the Business Start- Up (BSU information) is entirely voluntary and not all banks take part, however evidence shows that banks accounting for over 90% of new business start-ups contribute data on a monthly basis to Banksearch. This process has strong support from the British Banking Association. The BBA is the leading UK banking and financial services trade association.

The benefits of the Banksearch data are:

• The data is available at ward level in Southwark, and at regional and national levels which allows comparative trend analysis and enables us to report on performance in priority areas in the borough.

• Data is available every month, with no annual time lags which will allow better analysis of current trends that is more timely and accurate.

• Coverage includes sole traders and non-VAT registered firms