A recent study conducted by Merger & Acquisition Advisor has unearthed some interesting insights into the best locations for start-ups in the UK. The study based its finding on a number of criteria, with each being awarded a certain number of points to ensure that each location is equally compared to the next.
Key criteria included new enterprise births, the percentage YoY business counts growth, business survival rates, the average Gross Domestic Household Income (GDHI), average Gross Value Added (GVA) per hour worked, average weekly gross salary, educational qualifications, and average life-satisfaction score.
Not surprisingly, 10 of the top 20 locations are based in London, with Westminster, Camden, and Barnett ranking numbers one to three. However, Birmingham placed at number four, with its high weekly salary and GHDI pushing it above suspected front runners such as Edinburgh and Brighton.
Westminster tops the list with a score of 80 and with 7,145 new enterprise births year on year and a 46.4 per cent business survival rate, it’s easy to see why. The location for World Remit, Dark Trace, and Monese to name a few, Westminster’s proximity to London’s infrastructure makes it accessible to fintech professionals based all over the city — with the ease of commuting adding to the area’s life satisfaction score of 7.38.
In second place, Camden had less enterprise births year-on-year, but has a higher year-on-year business count at 2.95 per cent, which, when combined with its higher GDHI and average weekly salary of £937.40, explains its high score of 74.23. Fintech companies in Camden include OpenPayd, Sasai Software, and Thought Machine.
Newcomer Barnet pushes fourth place Brighton out of the top three through a mix of strong business survival rate, competitive GDHI, and a high life satisfaction score of 7.36. However, Brighton is home to Crunch, Avantis, and TellJo, all fintech start-ups growing at a rate worthy of watching closely.
On the opposite end of the scale, Merthyr Tydfil in Wales takes the bottom place with the lowest awarded score of 40. In addition to a moderate weekly salary, the town also has negative business growth year-on-year and the lowest GDHI in the group.
The Welsh town is followed closely by Inverclyde and North Ayrshire, both in Scotland, which scored 40.11 and 4.4, respectively. The two towns were singled out for their low weekly salaries, but Inverclyde remains one to watch as its business survival rate remains higher than expected.
What this means for the fintech and finance industries is that the combination of a high business survival rate with a low cost of living is attractive to founders and potential employees alike. For start-ups, proximity to an educated workforce in university towns coupled with a sustainable GDHI and a high business sustainability rate helps narrow down locations to set up shop in.
Opportunities abound in areas ranking higher on the scale, with the AltFi Job Board full of opportunities with leading companies located in high-ranking areas, especially those around London. Companies based in the capital who are currently hiring on the AltFi job board include Ripple, Revolut, and Zilch while further afield and scattered across the UK, opportunities exist with Moneygram and in Glasgow, Santander. Browse the AltFi Job Board to find your next opportunity today.