Grow Exeter | Aug 13, 2018 | 0
Is Devon the Happiest Place for Business Owners?
Business owners in Devon are ‘off the scale’ when it comes to happiness, according to a new survey.
Employers of leading Devon-based brands have rated living and working in the county high on the happiness scale used by the Office for National Statistics, and cite the ‘great work life balance’ as a key factor. When asked to rate their happiness living and working in Devon, 38 per cent of employers marked the county 10 out of 10, with an average of 9.3 out of 10. Remarkably, no one ranked below 8 out of 10.
The survey, which was carried out in March by Devon Delivers, Devon County Council’s Inward Investment team, is part of the council’s ‘Choose Devon’ campaign, launched this week to highlight the advantages of running a business in Devon to encourage firms to move to or launch in the county.
A high number of employers were impressed by the commitment of their workforce, with 46 per cent scoring 10 out of 10, in the survey. Again the average was high, at 9.3. And when it came to the overall experience of working in Devon, 31 per cent of respondents gave it a resounding 10 out of 10, with the average at 8.6.
A committed workforce, great location and the feel good factor are three of the best reasons to run a business in Devon, according to the survey which targeted Devon Delivers’ Ambassador companies including Applegate, Dartington Crystal, The Met Office, Moo Free Chocolates, Salcombe Distilling Company, Stephens Scown LLP and TT Electronics, to gain insight into running a business in the West Country.
The results are being used in the Choose Devon campaign to target entrepreneurs running small companies in London and the South East.
Jamie Evans, Relocation Manager for Devon Delivers, said:
“The findings reinforce our view that this is a great part of the world to do business. What we find most encouraging is the growing network of businesses who are not only working hard to be a success but are also committed to being part of the Devon business community, helping other companies establish themselves and thrive.”
As part of the Choose Devon campaign, business owners, including some who have recently relocated to Devon are urging other companies across the UK to join them. They support the survey findings and also point to the good transport links and broadband connection as two key factors.
Andrea Jessop founded Moo Free Chocolates with husband Mike in Reading, but moved to Devon to take advantage of the county’s expertise in the food and drink sector in 2016.
Moo Free is a world-leading manufacturer of dairy free, gluten free, organic and vegan chocolate, winning accolades including The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade and Cosmopolitan’s best vegan Easter egg 2018.
Andrea, whose dairy free chocolates, made at their headquarters in Holsworthy, are now sold in supermarkets nationwide and overseas, said:
“We’ve only been here two years and we’ve already had to build another factory. It was expensive to run a business in Reading. Here in Devon it’s brilliant. People have said we must have a good sense of humour, moving a non-dairy business to Devon, but we have absolutely no regrets.”
“We are growing so quickly and here we are able to employ people who bring the right skills and knowledge. It’s a very affordable place to run a business, our broadband connection is faster and the staff are exceptional.”
Luke Lang is co-founder of the UK’s biggest crowdfunding platform, Crowdcube. Based in Exeter, the 60-strong company has just moved from the University of Exeter’s Innovation Centre, to the heart of the city’s professional services district, Southernhay.
“Devon is in our DNA. Devon has helped shape the company, the people we employ, our values and our brand. We’ve proven that you can attract top people from renowned businesses like eBay and Google, nurture exceptional local talent and disrupt national and international markets from the South West.”
The survey also asked what are the three best attributes of working in Devon. The most popular responses were:
· Incredible business community to work with
· Easy access to the rest of the country including a great regional airport
· Beautiful, natural environment
· A place to be proud to have as a brand association
· Friendly and easy going place to live.
Devon has one of the fastest growing cities in the country, Exeter, and the county has seen significant investment to provide new, purpose-built business developments, with 15 principal industrial and business parks now operating. Most recently SkyPark, close to Exeter Airport and the M5, offers modern office and industrial facilities and major expansion is underway at Exeter Science Park.
Howard Davies, co-founder of Salcombe Distilling Company, said:
“Devon offers an exceptional lifestyle. I absolutely love living and working here.”
In its first year of trading, the company received numerous accolades for its Salcombe Gin including World Gin Awards Category Gold and the San Francisco World Spirit Competition Double Gold.
“We have a creative, innovative and hard-working population who strive to succeed, alongside dynamic companies who work together to create a collaborative and inspiring business environment.”
Devon County Council’s Jamie Evans added:
“Choose Devon is letting businesses know why people love living and working in Devon. If we can help attract more companies, be they start-ups or established firms, that’s a boost to the local economy, with more investment, jobs and spending locally.”
www.devondelivers.co.uk for more information.