Birmingham remains regional startup capital for seventh year in a row


Birmingham retained its spot as the UK’s startup capital outside of London for the seventh year running. As business prospects continue to excel even during challenging times, housing and investment in the city are following suit.

During 2020, 18,394 new enterprises opened in Birmingham. This is the highest volume of startups outside of London and is a 26.8% increase from 2019. Despite the challenges many businesses faced in 2020, startup growth remained resilient in this growing city in the West Midlands.

Across the UK, lockdown restrictions naturally impacted the rate of new business formations throughout the year. However, the data from think-tank Centre for Entrepreneurs shows that the West Midlands and London saw the strongest recovery with 62% growth in June.

Neil Rami, chief executive of the West Midlands Growth Company, says: “Amid the testing economic uncertainties of the last year, these latest figures demonstrate the robustness of the West Midlands’s creative and innovative entrepreneurial landscape.

“It is encouraging to see Birmingham uphold its leading reputation as a thriving and vibrant hub of invention for a seventh year in a row.”

Other areas of industry growth

Birmingham is also a top location for businesses that are scaling up. Recent data from the Scaleup Institute shows there were 1,750 ‘scale-ups’ across the region’s Local Enterprise Partnerships throughout 2020.

Additionally, the region is even home to the largest tech and digital industry cluster outside of London. There have been a series of programmes further boosting growth across these sectors. This includes a £1.3m Creative Scale Up programme led by the West Midlands Combined Authority and funded by the Department of Culture, Media and Sports.

One of the UK’s most important business regions

Birmingham ranks as one of the most important business regions of the UK. And as one of the youngest cities in Europe, Birmingham is home to a pool of high quality talent. The city’s thriving graduate and young professional population has helped make it a hotbed for startups.

A growing number of businesses are also choosing the city for office space or even head office relocations. Last year, BT was one of the companies to open a new office in the area. Other major businesses have already made Birmingham their home. This includes HSBC, KPMB, HS2 Ltd and Barclays.

As more businesses are moving and opening in Birmingham, the population of the city is continuing to rise. In particular, young professionals are flocking to to area for the wide range of employment prospects. And this will likely continue even more post-Covid.

Strong property investment opportunities

As the city’s business prospects continue to improve, the housing market has seen vast improvements at the same time. With major investment coming to the city, recent transport improvements have played a particularly significant part in the city’s growing appeal.

The Birmingham property market is even the most valuable in the UK outside of London. Transaction levels and house prices have been on the rise, and recent reports forecast the city’s house prices to increase further in the coming years.

Often dubbed the UK’s second city, both domestic and overseas buyers are increasingly looking at Birmingham as a buy-to-let property hotspot. And the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games, along with the the construction of the HS2, will further boost the city on a national and global scale.

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Birmingham remains regional startup capital for seventh year in a row


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