London may lead the pack when it comes to business start-ups in Britain, but the latest research from Instant Offices reveals the UK’s other major cities are making a significant contribution to entrepreneurialism in the UK.
Last year, an impressive 672,890 new companies launched in the UK. An increase of 8.5% on the previous year and the highest since 2010. With that in mind, Instant Offices analysed population to startup ratio across the UK’s top cities to discover which place has the highest concentration of entrepreneurs.
Instant’s Entrepreneurial Index ranks top cities in the UK by analysing Companies House data and comparing new business to population ratio. When it comes to the most entrepreneurial areas in the country, you may be surprised to discover the capital only ranks 3rd on the list this year.
Startup activity increased this year in West Yorkshire, with Bradford launching 32% more businesses in 2020 compared to 2019. Three years ago, the city ranked highest in the SME Growth Factors Index, which named Bradford one of the best places in the UK to start a business.At 242,442, the number of new businesses registered in the capital in 2020 is around 35 times higher than our top-ranking city. When comparing population to business ratio, Portsmouth ranks highest for its high concentration of entrepreneurial activity. The number of new businesses launched here has increased by 33% this year, compared to 31% in London.
Growth Across All UK Cities a Positive
Out of the 21 cities analysed, Cardiff shows the slowest growth year-on-year at 5%; however, this growth is still extremely positive. In fact, of all the cities compared, we saw an increase across the board, indicating the UK entrepreneurial ecosystem has been busier than ever over the last 12 months.
2020 Set to Be a Record Year for New Companies
According to another report, 2020 could be a record year for new companies launched as entrepreneurs emerge from challenging circumstances, with an estimated 84,758 companies set to launch in the UK this year – the most considerable rise in new business activity since 2011.
In fact, according to the latest UK Flexible Workspace Market Report by Instant, there has been a rise in demand within smaller, regional markets, with some towns seeing growth of well over 100%. With suburban demand on the rise, average desk costs for flexible offices have increased by 5%, where rates have dropped by 6% in London.
Commenting on the research, John Williams, Head of Marketing at Instant Offices, said:
“Despite uncertainty caused by the pandemic, we could see a record number of new companies launching as entrepreneurs emerge across the country. The onset and spread of the pandemic has had a massive impact on the growth of entrepreneurship in the country, with many new businesses having to pivot to survive during the crisis.
“While the exact implications of COVID-19 on business and the economy at large is still uncertain, the UK’s innovative and entrepreneurial spirit endures.”
Jenny has been reporting on small business issues since 2001 where she held a number of freelance positions across the leading SME publications in the UK. Specialist subjects included SME financing and tax.