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

  • Only a few Welsh cities were in the list, but Swansea was ranked the highest.
  • Swansea performed similarly to rival Cardiff for many metrics in Startup Geeks scoring system, but it excelled for the cost of office space.

Swansea is in the top five best cities in the UK 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.

Only a few Welsh cities were in the list, but Swansea was ranked the highest. Swansea performed similarly to rival Cardiff for many metrics in Startup Geeks scoring system, but it excelled for the cost of office space: the only place with lower-price offices was Sunderland.

Swansea business data

METRIC DATA
Average weekly FT earnings (£) 506.9
Startup survival rate 5yrs (%) 38.3
Average office space cost per ft2 (£) 14.5
5 Year office space cost (£) 29000
5 year start-up team cost (£) 774640
5 year total start-up cost (office space + team salary) 803640
Average startup team cost (total from the following, £) 154928
Sales manager average salary (£) 34804
Operations manager average salary (£) 34725
Marketing manager average salary (£) 26755
Designer average salary (£) 34893
Web developer average salary (£) 23751
Average Download Speed (Mbit/s) 73.3
Universities 1
Graduate retention rate 33.32
Grants available? Yes

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
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