New research by SME insurance provider, Superscript, has identified the East Midlands as a major hotspot for business start-ups after Leicester was named the UK’s most entrepreneurial city, while Northampton and Kettering took the top two spots for the towns.
Using new data released by the Office for National Statistics, Superscript calculated that between 2020 and 2021, the number of small businesses with up to 49 employees in Leicester grew by a staggering 2,715: an increase of 21%. Cross-referenced with the government’s latest population figures to generate a ‘businesses per capita’ score for every location – this ranked Leicester as the number one city for new business ventures.
In Northampton, the number of small businesses grew by an equally impressive 1,475 (16%) while Kettering saw a rise of 360 (9%) – earning them first and second place respectively amongst the towns.
With ‘The Great Resignation’ sweeping across the UK, largely influenced by the estimated 11.6 million jobs that were affected by the government’s furlough scheme, this has prompted many workers to re-assess their short and long-term priorities – sparking a boom in entrepreneurship.
According to Companies House, more than 340,000 new businesses were registered in the UK between January and June 2021, amounting to 80 new businesses per hour.
Commenting on Leicester being crowned as the UK’s leading entrepreneurial city, Allix Blackburn, Head Trainer at East Street Fitness, states: “Leicester is such a fantastic city with a plethora of students from both universities. This has allowed us to truly tap into delivering a vibrant and engaging fitness studio setting. We also have been able to deliver classes which cater to each individual’s needs, including women-only sessions, due to our small class limits to truly allow for a transformational experience.”
Ben Francoise, Co-owner of Saints Coffee, also describes why Northampton felt like the right place to start a business: “We thought it would be important to open a business in Northampton and try to grow from there. This was mainly because I know how many opportunities I was afforded just through people trying to help me when I was a young person in the town. I thought it would be a little bit remiss not to try and do the same through social enterprise for people in the area that I grew up in.
“If the UK is going to come back to life [post-pandemic], it’s going to be through these independent high streets that have lots of smaller shops that are offering more unique experiences to the people who go in there. I feel strongly that, as a social enterprise, it was key to have purpose not just profits behind the business and to start in the middle of Northampton and we couldn’t get much more central than St Giles’ Street.”
With increased demands for sustainable, eco-friendly products in the region, Owner of the Refill Van, Tarnya (Tarn) Bayes, explains how Kettering’s green credentials led to the launch of the Refill Van in the town. “A strong green community exists within Kettering, which has been behind our business and our goals all the way. This has made Kettering the perfect location for running an eco-friendly business like the Refill Van.”
Cameron Shearer, Co-founder and CEO of Superscript, adds: “While the past year may not have seemed like an obvious time to launch a new business, it appears that furlough, reduced hours, and other factors such as working from home have spurred many employees to reassess their professional and personal goals.
“Given the spike we saw in young companies coming to us for flexible and bespoke insurance cover over lockdown, and the entrepreneurial spirit flooding the nation, we wanted to identify the cities that have seen the highest growth in small businesses. By plotting these new venture hotspots on a map for people to see and share, we’re able to highlight and celebrate those towns and cities across the UK that are perhaps underappreciated for all that they offer to entrepreneurs and businesses – as well as all the talented entrepreneurs they contain!”
To see the full map of the UK’s most entrepreneurial towns and cities, including case studies from a selection of exciting entrepreneurs working in those locations, visit: https://gosuperscript.com/most-entrepreneurial-locations/