Go West if you want to stay in business


If you want to start a business in the UK this year, move to Bristol – especially, if you want the best chance of surviving for more than a few years.

It was recently identified as the city with the best survival rates, with 44.4 per cent of new start-ups surviving to the five-year mark, with an economy built on industries such as creative media, electronics and aerospace.

The only other cities to show a higher survival rate than the national average were Brighton and Hove (44.1%) and Leeds (42.9%) while Plymouth had the lowest start-up survival rate, with less than one in three (30.7%) new ventures lasting five years or more.

The research was carried out by BusinessComparison.com and reveals fresh insight into where and where not to start a business.

Whether it’s the struggle to stand out in your niche, getting your brand out there or keeping a healthy cash flow, there are a lot of challenges for anyone starting out.

Researchers found that less than half of start-ups made it past five years in any of the 30 cities they looked at, with the average survival rate for the country as a whole standing at 42.4 per cent.

Bristol was home to 2,570 start-ups in 2003 and 1,140 are still going. Brighton saw 1,960 get off the ground with 865 surviving, followed by Leeds, Sheffield, Cardiff, Bournemouth, Edinburgh, Bolton , Bradford and Aberdeen.

The five poorest performers were Glasgow, Northampton, Liverpool, Portsmouth and Plymouth.

On a regional level, the South West overall scored highest with 11,690 of the 25,640 start-ups staying the course, followed by the East, the South East, Yorkshire and Northern Ireland.

While London accounted for the highest number; 83,600, it had the lowest survival rates at 32,895.