Manchester: The Startup City
Widely regarded as Britain’s second city, Manchester has become a hub for creative, digital, and technological businesses. The growth of the city has been rapid and its development is expected to reach new heights in 2016. Its reputation as both the second largest city for tech startups and the city with the largest startup rate in Britain make it abundantly clear the direction Manchester is heading in and exactly why it could be called The Startup City. We decided to take a look at exactly what has lead to Manchester’s startup growth and exactly why the city is inspiring so many people to start a business.
While establishing a new business can be difficult in any city, Manchester offers business support that will provide valuable resources and stability to startups. One key example of this is the space offered by MediaCity UK to startups. Affordable office space combined with studios for film and media startups make it an exciting place for creative businesses, while further collaborative work spaces are also being developed. Around the city centre there are also a number of low cost business spaces designed to support startups
The city also has a significant startup community that is full of useful groups and people who are passionate about business who will undoubtedly be happy to discuss ideas. The community also organises a range of events designed to help new businesses establish themselves and get advice from other startups.
Manchester may not have the amount of angel investors and venture capitalists that could be found in London, but there are still fantastic funding options. There are a range of region specific investment and loan funds available to startups in Manchester, and for smaller businesses there are some effective government backed loans schemes on offer.
Leveraging the business support resources on offer will undoubtedly help with funding as well. The number of loan and investment funds grows each year, but the community of startups is likely to be able to offer some great advice on this area of expertise. Equally, you may find that people are keen to invest in a new business, while crowdfunding can also be an effective option.
High Quality Living
There is a thriving cultural scene in Manchester that instantly reflects some of the best aspects of Mancunian life. Among brilliant venues and event spaces the city is full of brilliant independent restaurants and bars. The Northern Quarter is the city’s most cultural area and the shops and galleries there really add something to the city. This cultural aspect adds a lot to people wanting to run a startup business as not only is the city inspiring, it also offers opportunity to work with dynamic people.
Although living in the city centre is more expensive than many places in the North, there is still the opportunity to live in Greater Manchester and have a higher quality of life with all of the benefits of living in the city. The city centre itself is still far more affordable than London however, while still having many of the benefits of high quality living, with many people labelling the city as a miniature London. The city as a whole can be considered affordable while still providing the opportunity to live a premier city lifestyle.
Manchester constitutes one of the most accessible locations in the UK. Being home to a well supported train network, including high speed services, an airport that is the third largest in the UK, and the MetroLink tram service that connects much of Manchester in a swift and effective way. While Manchester is 200 miles away from London it takes only two hours to reach Euston station showing how easy it is to connect with the capital, while other cities such as Liverpool and Birmingham are equally accessible.
Large Talent Pool
One of the major benefits of Manchester comes from its significant talent pool. The city is home to five universities, three of which are major institutions, while also having the biggest university campus in Europe. This amount of students is an incredible resource for talent, while the specialities of each university further increase the draw of talent.
The University of Salford is located closest to MediaCity UK where a large number of British media institutions relocated, this combination means Salford has a huge media talent pool. The University of Manchester draws in other talent from technical and scientific sectors, with the results being creations such as the new and incredible material graphene. This academic wealth results in a huge graduate talent pool that grows each year, providing the perfect talent resource for those looking to attract staff to a startup.
Manchester provides the perfect location for startups for so many reasons. While these broad features of business support, funding, quality of life, travel, and the talent pool are clearly influential when people consider where to start a business, there are many other sector specific benefits to the city as well. There are clear indications that Manchester is set to keep growing and developing over the next few years, and the thirst for entrepreneurialism in Manchester is unlikely to be quenched. This startup hub is set to be the home of many innovations that change the world.