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Why Manchester is THE city for start-ups and entrepreneurs

  • Publish Date: Posted 12 months ago
  • Author: Zara Winstanley
Manchester, famous for its chips and gravy, great music and great football, it's unsurprisingly that it has a youthful and vibrant workforce. Northern cities such as Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds are looking to drive forward the technology of tomorrow and there has been significant investment into revitalising the "Northern Powerhouse" and mobilising the inventive talent available.

From cotton mills to digital transformation, at the very heart of the Northern Powerhouse, Manchester is a hive of business activity. With an average turnover of £3.42bn, the fourth highest in the UK, and with more start-ups than anywhere else in the North West, it’s no surprise that start-up businesses and entrepreneurs thrive in this vibrant city.

Starting a start-up can be daunting at the best of times, but in the right environment, you can set your sights on success! In this blog, we reveal the top 4 reasons why Manchester is a top technology hub for start-up growth.

Why Manchester is a Great UK City for Start-ups and Entrepreneurs
Talent on tap

Arguably, the UK’s second city, Manchester is now experiencing more growth, development and investment which has encouraged young talent to relocate to the area, seeking education and employment.

With four universities at its fingertips, Manchester is home to some of the best young talent in the country – over 500,000 people live here, 39.5% of which are of working age with qualifications of NVQ Level 4 or above to be exact. Meaning, that if you’re looking to launch a tech start-up in Manchester, you’re not in short supply of fresh and talented graduates looking for work.

With the rising costs of living and housing prices in London making it inaccessible for some, mixed with Manchester being ranked the third best student city in the UK, it’s no surprise why a number of top employers have set up camp in this vibrant part of the country.

A city of access

With this growing cost of living comes the expanding costs of rent. Both London and Manchester have unique cultures, but if you are looking for city life without paying London prices then Manchester is the place for you. Lower rent costs encourage growing ‘scale up’ businesses to the area with the promise of progression and development opportunities.

Excellent transport links provide entrepreneurs with the ability to get around the city to visit clients simply and easily. Transport costs are kept low to ensure Manchester continues to remain one of the most accessible cities in the country.

Helping to fuel Manchester's booming reputation as a digital and creative leader is the abundance of co-working space across the region. Whether you need to rent low-cost business space in one of the many surrounding business and technology parks or you would prefer to rent a coworking space at a pay per minute ‘anti-café’. Manchester really does have it all.

Supportive ecosystem

The influence of the Northern Powerhouse has had a hugely influential impact on Manchester. Funded by the government, it is a vision for a super-connected, globally-competitive northern economy that forms part of the government’s industrial strategy. This means there is a lot of funding and support being pumped into northern cities.

Greater Manchester offers the perfect environment for start-ups and has excellent networks to provide opportunities for businesses both big and small. This is mostly thanks to supporting initiatives from the public and private sector including the local authorities and government-funded programmes.

The support networks already rooted in Manchester are incredible and with other tech giants already based here making huge waves to support tech start-ups all across the north, it is a prime place to join events and jump feet first into a well-rounded and supportive tech community.

Collaboration is key

Today, Manchester has been recognised by the UK government as one of the six “science cities” across the country. It is fast becoming a key city for not only research and development but also for innovation and academic excellence.

The digital and creative hub, MediaCityUK has brought the likes of the BBC and ITV to the city creating yet another collaborative hub for like-minded individuals to work, share ideas and learn. Last year Vodafone announced that Media City will be the first location to test its new 5G service. A new Innovation Hub and technology incubator in Media City will give businesses, start-ups and tech innovators access to 5G, the Internet of Things, high-speed fibre and the very best technical resources available.

With a youthful city full of entrepreneurs and students ready and keen to hit the professional world, it's unsurprisingly that the start-up community is a very open one ready to welcome new people. There are lots of social and networking events to help in meeting like-minded people and help connect with other organisations. The whole city has an eager willingness to help each other out and support other start-ups and entrepreneurs.

Been there done that

The county of Greater Manchester is home to 1,468 ambitious private companies and over a third of these are tech-based. 3% of all UK tech investments since 2011 has gone to companies located in Manchester.

Once start-ups such as misguided, on the beach, the hut group, Push Doctor, Evergreen Life, Cogenis, Boohoo and so many more, now hugely successful brands thriving in Manchester. From retail, health, finance, recruitment and tech, Manchester is the place for success.

So, there you have it, a quick rundown of why Manchester is one of the best cities for start-ups, entrepreneurs and new talent.

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