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The UK is top spot for ebusiness start-ups, but not for profit

The UK is the best place in Europe to start an Internet business according to new research, although separate evidence suggests...

The UK is the best place in Europe to start an Internet business according to new research, although separate evidence suggests it trails other countries for profit.

Helen Beckett

The poll, conducted on behalf of the parcels courier company UPS, found that almost a third of European business leaders saw Britain as the first choice for location when starting a new company. It was followed by Germany and France, fielding 13 and 7% of the votes respectively.

Research published last year by PricewaterhouseCoopers told a different side of the story with 60% of German e-business start-ups turning a profit compared to 30% in the UK.

Robin Tye, head of ebusiness consulting practice at PwC said: "Germany has been very effective at pushing a science park and 'middle-market' business ethic, which has seen ebusiness flourish in the regions. "

Ironically, according to the UPS research, only 6% of all UK business leaders questioned felt that the dotcom start-up trend was a sound business model for the new economy - misgivings that reflect the PwC findings.

In the B2B sector, UK leadership is more unequivocal, with the UPS research citing 84% of UK companies adopted online systems, practices and procedures in the last year. This is 21% above the European average of 63% of companies.

Roland Hanbury, senior analyst with ebusiness consultancy Rubs, said that the UK offered good support services for ebusiness in the shape of expertise, available VC funds and recruiting services.

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