A key to Unlocking Growth: Leeds comes top 10 for best cities to start a business outside of London

A new report from Barclays Eagle Labs and Beauhurst reveals the top cities for the number of high-growth businesses outside of London.

The ‘Unlocking Growth’ report identifies the key to generating growth by exploring the importance of public and private sector partnerships in creating strong local technology ecosystems in which businesses can start and scale successfully. Universities, accelerator programmes and business incubators, coupled with investment sources such as angel or private equity investors.

The report looks at the critical role technology ecosystems play in supporting high-growth firms and boosting local economies.  Local authority areas that are home to 100 or more high-growth companies have an average Gross Value Added (GVA) per person of £138,000, compared to £22,000 for those with less than 100.

Leeds comes third in the list for the number of high-growth businesses outside of London, with 505 calling the city home, 137 of which are technology companies.

The Leeds Eagle Lab is just one of a growing network of business incubator spaces that supports 28 ecosystems across the UK, providing mentoring and networking opportunities, business support, and a regular programme of events, both in person and virtually during the pandemic. To date, the Labs have supported nearly 4,000 businesses, which combined, have secured 614 equity deals since 2011, raising on average £1.45m each equity fundraising round.

Jon Hope, Director of Eagle Labs, said:

“Our mission at Barclays Eagle Labs is to help support entrepreneurs and high-growth start-ups by providing them the tools they need to grow their business and by bringing together a range of actors to help nurture and grow local tech ecosystems.

“Every region in the UK has the presence of at least one high-growth technology cluster. However, data from Beauhurst found that seven out of the top ten local authorities by number of high-growth tech companies were in London. We hope that with support from networks like Eagle Labs, towns and cities throughout the country can reap the benefits that strong local tech ecosystems can provide.”

Irene Graham, CEO of the ScaleUp Institute, said:

“Since its inception, the ScaleUp Institute has focused on the importance of fostering vibrant local ecosystems to support scaleup companies – and the job opportunities and economic growth that this will drive.

“Effective ecosystems consist of a combination of actors working collaboratively to harness resources to foster their local scaleup opportunities, they include local government, investors, entrepreneurs, corporates, and anchor institutions like universities. Providing tailored growth support for the scaling businesses in these ecosystems is critical.

“This report picks up many of the ScaleUp Institute’s themes and recommendations for driving local scaleup growth. No matter the sector, we know that key drivers of local growth are access to skilled talent, clusters and investment alongside a collaborative, joined up ecosystem.”

To find out more about Barclays Eagle Labs and the Unlocking Growth report, visit: labs.uk.barclays

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