London is the millionaire capital of the world, is deemed to be the British city most likely to produce the next major tech player and its economy is growing faster than the rest of the UK. But a new report from Barclays suggests that other entrepreneurial hotspots could be popping up around the country, with turnovers increasing for small businesses across the UK.
The 2016 Barclays UK Prosperity Map has revealed that the small-business community outside of London is thriving, with Bournemouth, Manchester and Cardiff leading the way. The cities enjoyed an increase in turnover of 19%, 15% and 12% respectively in the 12 months running up to April – placing them at the top of the league table of small businesses. London is still clearly open for business, however, seeing an 11% increase in turnover among small companies.
At a regional level, Scotland saw the biggest spike in small-business turnover, recording an 8% increase. Not far behind are the north west and the south west, with turnovers growing 6% and 5% respectively. A more modest growth in small-business turnover – but growth nonetheless – was seen in Cardiff, where it rose 2%, and Yorkshire and Humberside, which grew by 1.8%.
The data also suggests that we may see more of a balance in entrepreneurial activity across the country. When it comes to starting a business, Manchester was revealed to have the most youthful boardrooms in the country: the average business owner in the city is 45, compared with average age 50 in places such as Guildford and Cambridge. Meanwhile, Leeds, Cambridge and Liverpool appear to be the most female-friendly places to start a business: at 29% all three have the highest proportion of female entrepreneurs in British cities.
The index, which looked at factors such as income, house prices and working hours, also showed that every region in Britain has seen household incomes go up compared to the same time last year. The biggest rise was seen north of the border, with Scottish households experiencing a 13% rise in incomes.
In the report, Barclays says that Britain’s entrepreneurial spirit will continue to be a crucial factor in affecting overall prosperity. Akshaya Bhargava, CEO of wealth, entrepreneurs and business banking at Barclays, said: “As we look at the future of global trade and inward investment, it is the success of our entrepreneurs that will help drive future prosperity – it is essential that business leaders and policy makers continue to nurture these growth areas in order to ensure that these trends continue.”
But given that the economic impact of Brexit is still unknown, the small business community may want to hold off on celebrating just yet.