UCL School of Management

10 February 2016

The top ten UK cities to launch a start-up

A UCL School of Management review of the country’s most highly populated towns and cities has revealed the best places to start a business in 2016 – with Bristol coming in first and London and Birmingham rounding out the top three.

The review analysed the availability, quality and cost of amenities on offer to entrepreneurs around the country, looking at factors such as broadband speed and the cost of central office space, alongside the number and value of start-up loans accessed by new businesses.

Start-ups in London received over £9m in funding in the final quarter of 2014, working out at £1,038 per new business and putting the capital at the top of the list for funding per start-up. 

Chelmsford is home to the most start-ups, when weighted by population, followed by Brighton and Peterborough. 

Central office space is, understandably, at its highest price per square foot per month in London, at £52.50. Outside of the capital, office costs an average of £3.16, with all but Belfast, Brighton, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Exeter and Leicester falling below this cost:

Chris Coleridge, Programme Director of the MSc in Technology Entrepreneurship said: “Better broadband may make it quicker and easier to do the basics - sending emails, updating web content, building customer and partner relationships - but ultimately allows any sole trader to fully operate and grow in a global marketplace.“

“A great business idea is just the start of succeeding as an entrepreneur, and we’ve found some surprising differences in the facilities available to them across the UK. The factors we have explored, from basic funding to the cost of running an office, can have a real impact on the direction and growth of a business as it gathers pace.

“Entrepreneurs whose aim is to start a business this year should invest plenty of time in the planning phase, in order to research the pros and cons of not just their product or service, but of their hometown in order to counteract any hurdles. Business networking groups and collaboration with other local entrepreneurs shouldn’t be overlooked, as it can help with knowledge and insight sharing particularly in the early stages.”

View the full review here

Last updated Thursday, 11 February 2016