Britain’s Best Cities for a UK Start-Up Business

The United Kingdom is the fifth-largest economy in the world. With a GDP of more than $2 trillion, it is one of the most attractive places to start a business globally. However, there are a number of risks and no guarantees that starting a business in the UK will be a successful endeavour. Hence the need for insurance for start-ups.

According to the Office for National Statistics, 10.5% of businesses died between 2019 and 2020. Those numbers are favourable compared to data from the Small Business Administration. According to the SBA, 20% of companies fail in their first year, and more than a third of them die by the 10th year.

Businesses often have to stay innovative across product, marketing, and hiring to remain alive for longer. These are all factors that companies can control, but there is one area that they cannot control – how location affects businesses.

  1. What Makes a Good Place to Start a Business in the UK?
    1. Access to Talent
    2. Standard of Living
    3. Infrastructure
    4. Access to Finance
    5. Favourable Policies
    6. Potential for Growth
  2. Is It Better to Start a Business in Scotland, England or Wales?
  3. Top Places in the UK to Launch a Start-up
    1. Edinburgh
    2. Leeds
    3. Glasgow
    4. Manchester
    5. Bristol
    6. Birmingham
    7. Sheffield
    8. Liverpool
    9. Cardiff
    10. Coventry

What Makes a Good Place to Start a Business in the UK?

In an era where venture-backed technology companies are the norm, it is easy to question how important a business’ location is. However, the site of a company still affects outcomes. But how do you know that a specific city is an excellent place to start a business?

Below are a few factors that could affect the success of your business.

1. Access to Talent

Talent, like start-up insurance, is critical for any business, regardless of the industry. According to CBInsights, 14% of start-ups surveyed failed because they did not have the right team. However, location can affect your ability to hire the best talents.

For example, starting your business in an area with universities or a skilled workforce could make hiring employees for your business easier. However, if your company operates remotely, you could hire employees from almost anywhere globally.

2. Standard of Living

Your business is only as good as its ability to meet your customers’ needs. Some companies provide services that anyone can use regardless of their economic status, while some businesses are for a specific group of people.

One thing to note is that the standard of living in a particular location indicates their purchasing power. Therefore, a great business place should have an excellent standard of living.

3. Infrastructure

Infrastructure here refers to a developed transportation and telecommunications network. When a city has a developed transportation network, it makes it easier for movement.

4. Access to Finance

Funding is one of the main reasons a business will fail. The CBInsights report cited earlier lists lack of cash as the reason for failure in 38% of the start-ups surveyed. This shows that finance is crucial to the success of a business.

For example, you need money to pay the right staff, buy equipment for your business and run marketing campaigns. Therefore, your business must be in an area where you can easily access finance. We also suggest purchasing start-up business insurance.

5. Favourable Policies

Government policies in a region can affect a business’ chances of growth. For example, changes in the government’s fiscal policy could reduce interest rates in an area, making it easier to access loans. This could make businesses choose to locate their operations in those regions.

6. Potential for Growth

Every entrepreneur hopes that their businesses grow. However, while they can do things to improve the chances of growth, some decisions or factors may be out of their control. These could include population growth, disposable income, the standard of living, and favourable government policies.

Is It Better to Start a Business in Scotland, England or Wales?

Deciding where to start a business between England, Scotland, and Wales will often depend on the type of business. However, each region has qualities that make them an attractive destination.

Still, you may find that while one quality makes them appealing for your business, that feature is the reason another company may fail. Therefore, you must understand your business needs and choose accordingly.

Top Places in the UK to Launch a Start-up

Now that we’ve seen some of the factors that make a city attractive for start-ups, let’s look at some of the best cities to start a business in.

1. Edinburgh

A UNESCO World Heritage site, Edinburgh is the seat of the Scottish government and holds lots of appeal for residents and visitors alike. With six universities, including the University of Edinburgh, businesses have a large pool of talents to tap into when hiring employees for their business.

With a little over 500,000 people, Edinburgh offers the same amenities as a large city but with fewer people. Consequently, it is easy for entrepreneurs to find and meet with investors for their businesses.

2. Leeds

With a larger population than Edinburgh, Leeds is one of the top places to start a business in the United Kingdom. Business travels are seamless with good road and train networks that make it accessible to most parts of the United Kingdom.

The city also has over 60% full-fibre broadband coverage making it an excellent place to build businesses that require an internet connection. Leeds is also the most important financial centre outside London and has a growing tech scene. Additionally, it has some great universities, including the University of Leeds, supplying talent to businesses in the region.

3. Glasgow

Glasgow has over 600,000 people, with three universities providing quality talents for businesses in the region. Scotland’s largest city has a thriving tech sector and was given “Smart City” status in 2013.

4. Manchester

Manchester is home to one of the biggest football clubs globally, but it is also a great place to start a business. Although the cost of living is one of the highest in the UK, it also has more than 23,000 businesses and a net monthly pay of £2,000 for many workers in the city. Therefore, you are sure that there are people who can afford your services.

5. Bristol

Home to over 15,000 businesses, Bristol has a skilled population, fast broadband speeds, and a growing start-up ecosystem. It is also home to one of the UK’s busiest ports and one of the UK’s largest urban regeneration projects.

6. Birmingham

One of the best things about starting a business in Birmingham is that you can quickly move around the city. Also, at more than £400 in average weekly earnings, talent is cheaper than some cities on our list.

7. Sheffield

Sheffield has thriving manufacturing and tech industries. It also has two universities, and with 132,500 people with NVQ Level 4 and above, there is a steady supply of talent for businesses.

8. Liverpool

Liverpool has a developed transport system that connects with anywhere in the UK. The cost of living is also lower compared to places like London, while the presence of Liverpool University and Liverpool John Moores University makes it easy to hire talent.

9. Cardiff

In 2016, the UK government agreed to invest £1.28 billion in infrastructure in Cardiff in partnership with the Welsh government. This 20-year partnership will improve Cardiff’s infrastructure and support businesses.

10. Coventry

Coventry is a great place to consider when looking for the perfect place to start a new business. Coventry University was only established in 1992, but it already boasts a reputation as one of the best universities in the UK.

The city also has an average weekly wage of more than £500, while both the University of Warwick and Coventry University have a Science and Technology Park, respectively, providing support for start-ups in the region.

The United Kingdom is a great place to start a business. With one of the largest economies globally and a growing technology scene, there is still room for growth.

So, pick any of the cities on our list, and ensure you get the best insurance for start-ups. Get a quote from us today.

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