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Can You Guess UK’s Most Entrepreneurial City in 2018?

The UK’s Most Entrepreneurial City in 2018 may not be what you think it is. John Williams, Head of Marketing & Research at Instant Offices talks about their latest research on the UK’s leading cities in entrepreneurship.

Instant’s Entrepreneurial Index ranks the UK’s leading cities by analysing Companies House data and comparing average population in each city with the number of businesses launched there year on year. And this year, Birmingham has stormed to the top of the league as the Most Entrepreneurial UK City in 2018.

Although, London may lead the pack when it comes to business start-ups in Britain, the latest research from Instant Offices reveals the UK’s other major cities are making a significant contribution to entrepreneurialism in the UK. John Williams, Head of Marketing and Research at Instant Offices explains what makes Birmingham and the rest of the key cities the most entrepreneurial in the UK.

Despite uncertainty around Brexit, the UK’s start-up ecosystem saw record investment growth in 2017, as according to a report by Deal Room, UK investment grew by 87% to €7.1 billion, which is more than Germany, France and Sweden combined. With such a dynamic business environment, it’s no wonder the entrepreneurial spirit persists in the UK, a country with solid infrastructure, a huge talent pool and a vibrant startup culture.

According to a Startup Outlook Report, UK start-ups are optimistic with 49% of entrepreneurs saying they are confident in better business conditions in 2018 while 42% said conditions would remain the same. In fact, it’s been indicated that 8 in 10 start-ups have plans to expand their teams in 2018.

With 145,993 businesses launched in 2017, London holds the top spot for total number of start-ups, as would be expected.  But, on a pro rata basis, Birmingham surpasses the capital with its impressive start-up to population ratio.

With significant growth over the past few years, Birmingham’s ability to attract and support early-stage businesses is attributed to its world-class support networks, accelerator schemes and significant infrastructure investment. The completion of HS2 is set to transform the West Midlands, and Birmingham’s sizeable metropolitan economy is predicted to see considerable benefits to boost growth.

As more organisations opt for agile ways of working, the flex office market has seen explosive growth across UK regions, and interest in cities like Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool is at an all-time high.

London however continues to lead, as reported in Instant’s 2018 UK Market Summary. But with a growth of a more agile working climate and new investment meant Birmingham saw some of the highest market activity in 2017. Further research had found the prices in Birmingham range from £75 per desk per month in locations such as the Old Print Works, to a dedicated pod in the Innovation Birmingham Campus from £225 per month, to a private office in ALPHA Works for £450 per month, per workstation.

Overall, centre growth was up 13% last year, ranking fourth after Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds at 23%, 17% and 15% respectively.

While majority of demand still comes from companies looking for flexible office requirements for smaller teams, our data reveals that larger, corporate occupiers are also looking for flexible space in what is proving to be a very competitive market in Birmingham.