Start-Ups Branching Out

Posted on 17th June 2014

A recent study has found that more entrepreneurs are setting up businesses outside the South East than ever before, with clusters of successful start-ups springing up in the corridor between Liverpool, Manchester and York.

According to the research, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), new firms are locating close to the many good universities in the area where local authorities are supportive and grants are available.

A spokesman for Barclays, which commissioned the research, said that it shows that entrepreneurs will thrive anywhere in the UK if the conditions are put in place to allow them to do so.

However, he added that business, the education sector and Government must all do more to create such thriving entrepreneurial ecosystems elsewhere in the UK.

According to the research, Manchester in particular is a ‘hot spot’ for start-ups, with the biggest driver for this being a pool of talented young graduates who are now staying in the area rather then being lured by the bright lights of the capital.

The city has also been helped by the growth in its population, which has increased by a fifth in the last 10 years, the building of the BBC’s media city there and excellent rail and air links.

Manchester is currently the only city outside London with a direct route to Hong Kong, which means that Chinese investors are eyeing innovative small firms in the region.

The research also found that labelling areas as “innovation hotspots” produces a compound effect that fosters entrepreneurialism, which has led the researchers to suggest that entrepreneurs can be ‘made’.

According to the report, an entrepreneurial mindset is something that can be fostered, given the right mix of learned skills, opportunity access and confidence, leading its authors to conclude that this hotspot could be replicated anywhere in the UK, given the necessary support.

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