Belfast in top five best cities to start a business in the UK

The experts at online magazine, StartupsGeek.com, have reviewed data from cost of office space to average internet speed to find out which city is the best in the UK to start a business

  • Belfast was the only Northern Irish city to make the list

  • Belfast was deemed fifth best due to healthy metrics including low office rental costs and low team member salaries.

  • Oxbridge has a graduation retention rate below 20%, presenting an opportunity for the cities to retain their talent.

  • Starting a business in London costs nearly 20% more than anywhere else in the country.

  • Starting a business in Liverpool instead of London would save over £250,000 over five years in salaries.

Canterbury has been named the best city to start a business in the UK, according to online magazine, StartupsGeek.com. 

StartupsGeek.com created a study looking at the best place to start a business in the UK. The data analyses the cost over five years of starting a business, broken down into cost of salaries and office space. The research also looks into other factors including graduation retention rate, five year start-up survival rate, and average internet speed among others.

The full study is available here: https://www.startupsgeek.com/uk-startup-business-data/

It seems that the global pandemic dramatically affected Brits thoughts on wanting to become their own boss. Another study found 20 per cent of people were considering starting their own business or taking on a side job during the lockdown. The number of new businesses registered in Wales alone from April to July was just 10.7% lower than the same period in 2019 – with the equivalent figures for the past two months actually higher. In addition, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Wales reported an increase in inquiries from people looking to become self-employed. But many may be put off by their location and Start Up Geeks’ study aims to help potential entrepreneurs make an informed decision on which city to start a business.

The top 10 cities for starting a new business:

Rank

City

1

Canterbury

2

Sunderland

3

Liverpool

4

Swansea

5

Belfast

6

Salford

7

Norwich

8

Leicester

9

Plymouth

10

Edinburgh

 

Canterbury took first prize as the best place to start a new business. Low start-up costs and a large talent pool, make it an attractive option to start a new business. Sunderland, Liverpool, Swansea and Belfast also feature in the top five, with Sunderland boasting the top accolade of the cheapest place to start a new business. In Sunderland, the cost of office space is almost a quarter of London prices. Starting a business in Liverpool instead of London, would save you over £250,000 over five years in salaries.

London, which unsurprisingly has the highest ratio of SMEs per population, was ranked 27th on the list. Despite low internet costs and a large pool of talent from its 24 universities; high salaries, office space costs and survival rate of 39% pushed it down.

However London won the graduate retention rate, topping the charts by retaining over three quarters of its graduates. Bolton, Salford and Manchester are all in the top 10, their close proximity to one another provides a large talent pool of potential employees. Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen are also able to retain a lot of graduates.

When it comes to the survival rate of businesses, the south west fared best, with Bath, Exeter and Bristol featuring in the top three. First on the list, half of all Bath’s new businesses survived through five years of trading. Exeter and Bristol were the second and third respectively.

Joe Dawson, co-editor of StartupsGeek.com, said: “It’s often repeated that small businesses are the backbone of the British economy, and I think that small business has a big role to play in the economic bounce-back that we need after the trauma of 2020. The statistics in this study give us a snapshot of current conditions but it will be down to the next generation of entrepreneurs to capitalise on these opportunities. However, with the right funding and policy to support those wanting to strike out on their own, local authorities and government would be able to create conditions for small businesses to thrive in any of the forty locations in our study.”

FULL RESULTS

The top 10 cities to start a business by start-up cost (salary + office space):

Rank

City

Total Cost (£)

1

Sunderland

782,740

2

Canterbury

787,165

3

Swansea

803,640

4

Liverpool

810,360

5

Plymouth

814,010

6

Blackburn

827,295

7

Leicester

839,180

8

Norwich

839,420

9

Exeter

841,960

10

Salford

843,500

 

The top 10 cities for graduate retention rate:

Rank

City

GRR (%)

1

London

77

2

Bolton

68

3

Salford

61

4

Belfast

50

5

Birmingham

49

6

Glasgow

46

7

Aberdeen

43

8

Edinburgh

42

9

Manchester

40

10

Newcastle

36

Top 10 cities with the best five year start-up survival rate:

Rank

City

Five year start-up survival rate (%)

1

Bath

50

2

Exeter

46

3

Bristol

44

4

Oxford

44

5

Brighton

44

6

Blackburn

44

7

Wakefield

44

8

Oldham

43

9

Leeds

43

10

Sheffield

43

 

Love Belfast
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