Best cities to start a business

While London is the undeniable start-up capital of the UK, there are lots of other cities around the country where starting and growing a business is supported by excellent facilities, fast broadband speeds and access to finance.

According to the second annual Start-up Cities’ Index run by, Bristol is the top city outside London to start a business and almost 3,000 new operations launched there last year, while others in the top 10 include Manchester and Edinburgh. came up with a list of the 25 best cities to start a business outside London using a raft of official statistics, including data from the Office of National Statistics. The index tracks start-up ‘births’ and business ‘deaths’, business support, access to funding and talent, business survival rates and the quality of life that each city offers. The analysis even takes into account average house prices and crime rates.

The Index also includes testimonials from entrepreneurs who have set up their business in each city, including insights into what sort of local support is on offer, whether there are mentoring schemes available and even where the best restaurants and bars are to entertain clients.

As a spokesman for said, the report reflects the fact that entrepreneurial ambition is taking root across the UK, which is being supported by government and local enterprises offering financial and practical help.

After Bristol, which is home to fast-growing takeaway food market Just Eat, come Oxford, Edinburgh, Leeds and Cambridge. Manchester, which came in at number three last year has now slipped back to sixth place. Meanwhile, Hull, which comes in at number 25, is described as an excellent location for overseas trade with an extremely low cost of living.

The Index also spans several growing start-up ‘hubs’, including Plymouth and Canterbury, where villages and small towns outside the city are home to a huge amount of entrepreneurial activity.

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