By Lyndsey Hall
In a survey of the best cities in the UK for starting a new business, the North came out on top! The list, compiled by Startups, is based on 5 criteria: Talent, Support, Funding, Quality of Life, and a Case Study of a local business. The Steel City came in at number 5, while Leeds was in seventh place; Nottingham was in 17th and Hull just made it into the list at number 25.
Manchester swiped the top spot, narrowly beating Edinburgh and Bristol, which came second and third respectively.
Factoring in things like population, number of new start-ups and number of business deaths in 2012, as well as universities in the city and the average full-time weekly earnings in 2013, Startups ranked the cities in order of where is the best place for new business startups to put down roots.
With 2 major universities in the city, and The University of Sheffield being consistently ranked in the top 100 UK universities, it’s no surprise that new businesses would look to Sheffield as a strong foundation on which to build their empire. A rich pool of graduates and apprentices means companies have a fantastic chance of hiring the highest quality employees in their industry. The University of Sheffield is also one of the top 10 intensive research focused universities in the country, so businesses also have access to some of the most recent and innovative research in the world.
With Sheffield Technology Parks right on the doorstep, science and technology startups in particular would be hard pressed to find a better home for their new venture.
Sheffield is known for its diversity; the city is a melting pot of people with different backgrounds and nationalities; and it’s this atmosphere of open-mindedness and inclusivity that makes it a great place to work or start a business. MADE: the Entrepreneur festival recently held its second annual event at Sheffield City Hall, with successful businessmen and women, like Michelle Mone of Ultimo and Levi Roots, coming from all over the UK to speak to Sheffield’s young and enthusiastic would-be entrepreneurs.
There are plenty of grants and loans available to new businesses in the region, and the business support network is excellent; with the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels (YABA) being the biggest in the area. Rented office space is abundant, and if you are a tiny startup working from home you can even hire city centre meeting rooms by the hour with Regus, to help you impress potential investors and clients; and they’ll even let you use their address for your post!
With world famous musicians and artists, and a pretty good local sauce, not to mention all of the city’s green spaces and its proximity to some of the country’s best beauty spots and heritage sites, Sheffield is not only a fantastic place to work, but a wonderful place to live. If you watched the Tour de France Grand Départ, you’ll know what we’re talking about!
Have we convinced you yet? Let’s make sure Sheffield gets to the top spot next time!
To view the full list of the 25 best UK cities to start a business, click here.
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