Leicester named one of the UK's entrepreneurial hotspots

Leicester has been named one of the most popular cities in the UK to be an entrepreneur.

A study named the home of De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) among the country’s start-up hotspots after analysing data including new companies registered and the number of startups per head of population.

It found that since the start of lockdown, there were 5.345 new businesses registered in Leicester – a rise of 72% on the previous year. accounting for one new business for every 66 people and placing it fourth on the entrepreneur hotspot list.

And it’s not the first time that Leicester’s entrepreneurial spirit has been highlighted. Last year business bible Forbes reported how the city had seen a huge rise in new companies – part of a national trend that saw an explosion in new businesses. And 2020's Flexible Working Space Report placed Leicester fifth in its Entrepreneurial Index.

Helen Donnellan, Director of Enterprise and Business Services, said Leicester had a lot to offer startups. She said: “The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on all of our lives, but it is good to see that Leicester’s entrepreneurial spirit is very much alive as people seize the opportunity to start their own businesses.  

“The startup community in Leicester is very supportive and I think that plays a big part in people choosing the city as a place to start their own companies.

“DMU is a resource for the business community and we’re here to help entrepreneurs take their first steps in business and support start-ups to grow.”


This week is Leicester Startup Week, five days of events and talks that brings together the city’s community of entrepreneurs.

Leicester animation studio Lead Balloon, run by DMU graduates Lois Cockerill and Darrell Wright, will be talking about their journey from idea to thriving city startup.   

They were part of DMU’s Crucible Project which helps graduates and alumni turn their business idea into reality, or develop an existing business.

Lois said: “The Crucible has been really helpful. We were able to get so much advice and I don’t think we’d be in business without it. Leicester has such a supportive network when you are a start-up and that’s why we stayed here after we graduated from DMU.”

You can book a free ticket to hear Lead Balloon’s talk here 

The top five new business types were mail order; construction; freight transport; retail and the creative industries. David Luck, CEO of Capital on Tap, which ran the survey, said: “With remote working increasing our reliance on technology, it’s not surprising to see digital and IT businesses dominating the list of the most common new registrations.

“However, the increase in online retail and food delivery businesses would seem to suggest that large numbers of people are starting new business ventures from home and using online marketplaces and delivery apps to turn their passions into successful small businesses.”

Posted on Monday 25 January 2021

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