The UK’s best locations to start your business.
Starting your own business is a huge challenge, and the first few years can be gruelling. In fact, it’s not unusual to see new business enterprises fail within the first year.
However, with the right idea and plenty of resilience and perseverance, a startup might just be successful. But what else can influence the prosperity of a new business? We took a look at the UK areas where startups are most likely to be born, and where they see the most success.
From birth to death rates, and even which industries see the most new businesses every year, we’ve looked for some insight into how likely startups are to survive, wherever they’re based.
The Local Authorities with the Most Startups
These are the UK hotspots for starting new businesses, with thousands being born each year.
1. Westminster, London - 9,180 startups
2. Birmingham, West Midlands - 7,870 startups
3. Camden, London - 6,435 startups
4. City of London, London - 5,190 startups
5. Bromsgrove, West Midlands - 5,060 startups
5. Hackney, London - 5,060 startups
7. Islington, London - 4,865 startups
8. Barnet, London - 4,860 startups
9. Manchester, North West - 4,825 startups
10. Leeds, Yorkshire and the Humber - 4,175 startups
The Regions with the Most Startups
When we look at the number of startups from each region, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that London tops the list, and with business hubs like Brighton and Manchester, the South East and North West follow to make the top three.
1. London - 99,545 startups
2. South East - 54,795 startups
3. North West - 39,205 startups
4. East - 36,040 startups
5. West Midlands - 36,005 startups
6. South West - 25,350 startups
7. Yorkshire and the Humber - 24,570 startups
8. East Midlands - 24,370 startups
9. Scotland - 21,665 startups
10. Wales - 12,265 startups
11. North East - 9,765 startups
12. Northern Ireland - 6,625 startups
The Local Authorities with the Lowest Startup Death Rate
While some areas may boast large numbers of brand new enterprises, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they survive past their first year. The following areas are those which had the lowest death rates in the first year of business.
1. Bromsgrove, West Midlands - 36.76% death rate
2. Wyre Forest, West Midlands - 37.24% death rate
3. Redditch, West Midlands - 46.02% death rate
4. Southampton, South East - 47.45% death rate
5. Kettering, East Midlands - 48.90% death rate
6. Denbighshire, Wales - 51.22% death rate
7. Telford and Wrekin, West Midlands - 54.67% death rate
8. Wychavon, West Midlands - 60.17% death rate
9. Dartford, South East - 60.22% death rate
10. Corby, East Midlands - 61.02% death rate
The Regions with the Lowest Startup Death Rate
Looking at the death rate of startups on a regional level, we see a slightly different story to the startup hotspots. While London may have topped the list for sheer numbers, it’s the West Midlands that takes the top spot for survival rates.
1. West Midlands - 74.45% death rate
2. East Midlands - 82.85% death rate
3. London - 83.18% death rate
4. Yorkshire and the Humber - 85.82% death rate
5. Northern Ireland - 87.02% death rate
6. Wales - 88.26% death rate
7. South East - 88.38% death rate
8. Scotland - 89.61% death rate
9. North East - 89.69% death rate
10. East - 90.65% death rate
11. North West - 91.51% death rate
12. South West - 91.89% death rate
The Industries with the Most Startups
There are some industries that seem to be more popular than others when it comes to setting up a new business venture. In fact, the most popular business types relate to supporting offices and businesses, with 43,765 new startups in 2019. This would include businesses such as call centres, trade show organisers, and business support services.
1. Office administrative, office support and other business support activities - 43,765 startups
2. Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles - 32,800 startups
3. Specialised construction activities - 28,730 startups
4. Activities of head offices; management consultancy activities - 27,685 startups
5. Food and beverage service activities - 27,495 startups
6. Computer programming, consultancy and related activities - 22,775 startups
7. Land transport and transport via pipelines - 18,395 startups
8. Construction of buildings - 18,375 startups
9. Other professional, scientific and technical activities - 15,990 startups
10. Real estate activities - 15,555 startups
The Industries with the Lowest Startup Death Rate
When it comes to the longevity of those businesses in different industries, it is transport which takes the top spot, with just 51.73% of businesses failing within the first year. These businesses would include passenger and freight rail transport, as well as road transport for passengers and goods.
1. Land transport and transport via pipelines - 51.73% death rate
2. Postal and courier activities - 54.65% death rate
3. Repair and installation of machinery and equipment - 59.83% death rate
4. Manufacture of beverages - 61.86% death rate
5. Veterinary activities - 61.87% death rate
6. Other professional, scientific and technical activities - 66.35% death rate
7. Office administrative, office support and other business support activities - 70.51% death rate
8. Financial service activities, except insurance and pension funding - 71.66% death rate
9. Security and investigation activities - 73.23% death rate
10. Remediation activities and other waste management services - 73.81% death rate
The Local Authorities with the Best 5-Year Survival Rate
These numbers look at the startups born in 2014 that were still surviving in 2019, so which part of the UK has the best 5-year survival rate for new ventures?
1. Isles of Scilly, South West - 66.7% 5-year survival rate
2. Shetland Islands, Scotland - 60% 5-year survival rate
3. Ballymena, Northern Ireland - 55.6% 5-year survival rate
4. West Somerset, South West - 54.5% 5-year survival rate
5. Torridge, South West - 54.2% 5-year survival rate
6. Down, Northern Ireland - 52.9% 5-year survival rate
7. Purbeck, South West - 52.4% 5-year survival rate
7. Wealden, South East - 52.4% 5-year survival rate
9. Castlereagh, Northern Ireland - 52% 5-year survival rate
9. Teignbridge, South West - 52% 5-year survival rate
Methodology: All data is taken from the ONS dataset, Business demography, UK and concerns new businesses from 2019.