Leicester named among top 10 UK cities to start a business

Leicester has been named as one of the top ten locations in the UK to start a business, giving De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) students further inspiration to turn their ideas into careers in the city. 

The city was placed eighth out of 40 UK locations in the survey, putting the city well above traditional new business hubs such as Nottingham, Leeds, Manchester and London.


The report was published by StartUpsGeek.com, an online magazine covering the culture of business start-ups, digital creativity and entrepreneurship.

As lockdown measures are relaxed around the UK, the magazine conducted a study to find out the best cities to start a business in 2021, taking into account cumulative costs over five years, including salaries and office space.

The research also looked into other factors such as graduation retention rates, five year start-up survival rate and average internet speed. You can read the full survey here 

Professor David Mba, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research and Enterprise, said: "DMU is building a national reputation for our digital innovation and expertise, and an important part of this is Leicester embracing new businesses, particularly start-ups.

"The city works closely with DMU to promote the digital economy, which will be all the more important in a post-Covid world. Between us we aim to lay the foundations to encourage students to remain in this start-up friendly city once they graduate."

The news adds to a growing positive picture of the city’s economic prospects for students and graduates.

A recent report detailing the the economic impact DMU has on the city and the wider community showed DMU had the eighth highest number of graduate start-ups in UK universities over three years, while one in every 30 Leicester jobs can be traced back to DMU.

Read our economic impact report

DMU, home to the Leicester Castle Business School, also runs the Innovation Centre, which is home to many start-ups and offers businesses, entrepreneurs, freelancers, students, graduates, and those looking to start a business, the opportunity to attend events, business surgeries and networking sessions.

DMU graduate Jason Nesbitt is creator and co-founder of Loyal Free, an app for towns and cities to promote, businesses, tourism and loyalty schemes.

Jason said: “The university was fantastic for giving me hands-on experience. I cannot compliment the lecturers enough for their passion and enthusiasm. And I have been to the Innovation Centre many, many times since for events to help businesses in the city.

“It is great to see Leicester listed in the top 10 cities for starting a business. I would say one of the main benefits for Leicester is location. Being based right in the middle of the country is perfect for us as we have clients down south and in Scotland.

“I think office space and the price of housing in Leicester and Leicestershire is also an advantage as it is good value, and the city itself is a great place to live. There is a great work/life balance available in Leicester.”

Posted on Monday 3rd August 2020

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