Bournemouth the best place to start a small business in UK

SME Publications/ SME XPO 2024

By Les Roberts, Group Content Manager at Bionic

Starting a small business can come with a huge number of different hurdles to jump over. It’s best to arm yourself with as much information as possible to help with putting that initial spring in your step. That’s why the team at Bionic have put together the ultimate guide to starting a small business in the UK. Here, we will discuss some of the most commonly googled questions on how to start a small business and look at which UK cities and industries have the highest survival rate, and where in the UK has the greatest industry gaps.

We looked at  five metrics, for the UK’s 50 most populated cities, to identify which markets have the potential to be lucrative for different SME business niches. Each data point was then combined to create an index ranking for each city, out of a total possible 100 points, across different business niches.

  1. The average monthly GDHI after tax and deductions, according to ONS

2. The ONS Unemployment Claimant count rate %

3. The ‘Spend’ and ‘Footfall’ recovery scores for each city (CentreForCities)*

4. The reported number of businesses in each city within five business niches, according to ONS

Bournemouth is the number one place to start a business

Bournemouth is revealed as the best place to start a small business due to the large market gap in the area.. This is followed by Leeds, York and Doncaster, all of which are in Yorkshire and the Humber region. Newcastle upon Tyne and Bradford round off the top 5 best locations to start a small business.

Bristol businesses have the highest survival rate

Businesses registered in Bristol are the highest survival rate, at an astounding 44.36% – meaning 1,140 out of the 2,570 startups registered survived five years. Brighton and Hove follow closely with a survival rate of 44.13%. Leeds comes in third, with 42.88% of small businesses surviving after five years. Sheffield and Cardiff round off the top 5 with a 42.66% and 42.34% 5-year survival rate respectively. Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, has a 42.12% chance of survival, compared to Glasgow city at 37.46%. Out of the 83,600 businesses set up in London in one year, only 39.35% survived the five-year milestone.

Membership organisations are the best new business ventures to invest in

Businesses classed as “activities of membership organisations” have the highest five-year survival rate amongst industries common in SMEs. Companies that can be classed within this industry include fundraising organisations, environmental movements, and even young persons’ clubs. The beverage manufacturing industry also proves successful with a 53.23% chance of survival after five years. This means those looking to start microbreweries or small-batch speciality gin brands can be optimistic in their first five years.

SME Publications/ SME XPO 2024