Leeds is one of the most attractive cities in the UK for entrepreneurs, according to new research commissioned by wealth manager Kleinwort Hambros.
The research, which was carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), revealed the boroughs and cities in the UK where entrepreneurs are most likely to succeed. The research showed that Leeds is the highest scoring city in the north of England, benefiting from a young and dynamic workforce and particularly from its university, which attracts students from all over the world.
Cebr’s criteria for success includes start-up activity, economic conditions, business conditions and Government support.
Leeds beat Manchester, Bristol and even the City of London as one of the best places for budding entrepreneurs.
Chris Perkins, who leads the team of private bankers in Kleinwort Hambros Leeds-based office, said the wealth manager has seen an increase in the number of entrepreneurs coming onto its books in recent years.
He said: “Whilst we would expect London to dominate any rankings of thriving places for start-ups in the UK, it is great to see that Leeds is now firmly in the top 15 places to produce the most successful entrepreneurs of the future.
"This is testament to the great efforts made by both public and private sector initiatives to provide support for young companies and their founders. These results show that this investment is really bearing fruit.”
If London boroughs such as Islington, Wandsworth and Camden are excluded, Leeds came in third place in the table behind Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
In the important "start-up activity" category, which examines business births and survival rates after three years, Leeds is in the top five, ahead of Bristol, Aberdeen, Brighton and Manchester.
Leeds also makes the top five when measured against Cebr’s Government support indicator, which analyses Government expenditure on enterprise, economic development and science and technology. As the third most populous city in the UK, Leeds attracts a large share of Government spending, more than Manchester, Sheffield and Cardiff.
Mr Perkins added: “We are finding that many people are moving away from their existing businesses and using wealth they have accumulated to change direction and pursue something they have always had an interest in.
"This is particularly true of landowners who are moving away from farming and into new businesses. In addition, people who are being made redundant are able to use Government grants, which are widely available."
He said the Google support facility, which was founded a couple of years ago to provide IT support and training for start-ups, has also helped many businesses get off the ground.
“There are so many reasons why Leeds is attractive to entrepreneurs," he said.
"Yorkshire itself is particularly diverse and provides so many opportunities. Tourism is abundant here, there is so much to see and do in Leeds, York and Harrogate. The coast and the Yorkshire Dales also draw visitors. People are proud to use the Yorkshire brand for its appeal, both in terms of showing grit and determination, but also for its traditional values.”
Kleinwort Hambros said the London borough of Islington achieved a near perfect score due to its highly educated workforce and excellent digital infrastructure. Edinburgh, a close runner-up, received the highest scores for Government financial support and achieved robust performance across all other indicators.