Whether you are from Birmingham or simply looking to relocate to an area that’s profitable for start-ups and small businesses, it’s a great destination to choose if you are looking to get your new business venture off the ground. The city boasts the largest number of start-ups in the UK second to London, excellent transport links, four universities, and one of the largest business and conference venues in the UK – the National Exhibition Centre (NEC). Birmingham is less than an hour and a half’s train journey from London, and it’s adjacent to the M42 motorway junction.
It’s easy to see why more and more business owners are choosing Birmingham; not only is the city a great destination for professionals, it also has the confidence of government-backed Start Up Loans Company, which named Birmingham the most entrepreneurial city outside of London back in 2017. So, here’s what you need to know about starting your company here and potentially even expanding to the United States.
#1. Access to Talent:
For many start-ups, one of the first things to invest in is a strong team of professionals backing the brand and working together to achieve company growth and success. And there is certainly no shortage of professional talent in Birmingham, with graduates from the University of Birmingham, Aston University, Birmingham City University and Newman University looking for exciting business positions each year. In addition, the excellent transport links to the city mean that you can easily hire from further afield.
#2. Business Support:
Birmingham is one of the best cities in the UK when it comes to getting small business support. It has recently begun to establish itself as a thriving community of tech start-ups, which is endearingly known as ‘TechBrum’ or ‘Silicon Tech Canal’ amongst the entrepreneurs in the city. You can find ample support for your start-up available through the Birmingham City Centre Enterprise Zone, which is aiming to create forty thousand new jobs and two billion pounds per year to the city’s economy in the next twenty-five years.
#3. Grants and Funding:
For most start-ups in the city, Birmingham City Council is one of the main funding sources, offering small business grants and other types of funding for entrepreneurs who are looking to grow their brand. Funding from £50,000 to £1m is available through a range of initiatives and funds put in place for small to medium enterprises aiming for growth and development. If you can offer proof that your start-up will generate career prospects in the city, there are several initiatives to take advantage of, such as the Business Development Programme.
#4. Business Survival:
Birmingham is a thriving city for small businesses, and many believe that start-ups have a better chance here compared to almost anywhere else. Business owners have access to cost-saving resources like Utility Bidder, enabling them to keep operations costs down, and thanks to the several universities, the city is home to several science parks, which offer office facilities, mentoring, and opportunities for research and collaboration. Mosely Exchange, Urban Workspace and Innovation Birmingham were also created with small businesses in mind, providing affordable work spaces for sole traders and small start-ups.
What’s your Birmingham business idea? We’d love to hear from you.