The Best Places to start a new business in the past decade: London takes fourth spot

London has been named the fourth best place in the UK to set up a small business during the 2010s, according to a new study released today by Informi, the website offering free practical advice and support for small businesses.

Informi studied results from key features affecting whether a place has the right ingredients for small and medium-sized businesses to succeed. It focused on the 63 largest towns and cities in the UK, judging them on the following seven factors in each year since 2010:

Annual business start-ups
Annual business closures
Total business stock
Proportion of population with an NVQ level 4 qualification or above
Housing affordability
Pollution rate
Overall employment rate
London performed strongly in almost every year of the past decade, particularly in the areas of having the highest number of start-ups, and overall business stock. Reading topped the list with Brighton in second and Northampton third.

London was held back by high business closure figures and ranking poorly for the ratio of house prices to average wages. Other areas to have appeared in the top ten include Scottish cities Edinburgh and Aberdeen, along with seaside resorts Bournemouth and Worthing.

Steven Drew, spokesperson for Informi, said:

“The number of businesses in the UK has grown steadily over the past decade – up from around 4.5 million in 2010 to 5.7 million in 2018, which is around record high levels. With well over 99% of all businesses qualifying as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), it is clear that the entrepreneurial spirit in our country is higher than ever before – and our leading towns and cities are helping to facilitate this.

“As the UK enters a new decade on the verge of exiting the European Union, its future economic success will ever more rely on our small businesses providing the goods and services that consumers need, both here and abroad. It is vital therefore that areas copy the example set by the likes of Reading and Brighton in creating the right environment for small firms to survive and thrive.”

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