The Best UK Cities to Launch a Start-up

New research carried out by Expert Market has uncovered the best UK cities for entrepreneurs to launch a start-up business.

The research is the most comprehensive index of start-up environments to date and takes into account a host of different factors such as business survival rates, commercial rent prices, broadband speeds, the availability of employable talent, and transport links for all the cities in the UK.

The index draws on figures from the ONS,, and UK Prosperity and Colliers, to show the cities where entrepreneurs have the best chance of launching a successful venture.

Edinburgh Tops the List

It is no surprise that London makes the top 3, with 55,295 new enterprises launched there in 2016 and a host of graduates to hire. However, the rest of the top 10 most enterprising places might not be so predictable. Liverpool, Brighton and Bradford all come out as excellent places to start a business this year, while Edinburgh steals the crown for the UK’s most start-up friendly city thanks to its quality tech innovation and positive startup ecosystem.

“Entrepreneurship is reaching all corners of the country” said Adelle Kehoe, Head of Research at Expert Market, “it is great to see places like Edinburgh and Bristol being championed as business hubs and this hopefully gives budding business owners a few more options for where to base their start-up. As costs in the capital continue to soar, naturally we will see other cities come to the fore and with fast internet, good office spaces and access to talented staff – it’s clear to see why Edinburgh has been the city of choice for thousands of start-up businesses in the last year.”

The Top 10

The most exhaustive report of its kind, our methodology takes into account a range of business activity factors. It ranks active business enterprises, business survival rates over a five-year period, start-up “births” and prosperity, as well as the talent available in each city- both student and domicile graduates.The top ten ranked cities for starting a business can be seen below.

Best Uk cities for startups

The Bottom 10

The data suggests that the ten cities below are the least desirable locations for starting a business this year.

worst UK cities for start ups

After the data had been gathered, we applied a multi-criterion weighting to score each city on the aforementioned factors. The UK has become a hotbed for innovation and new business ventures, and its reputation as an enterprise hub is expected to be cemented further in 2017.