Edinburgh and Aberdeen named top cities for entrepreneurs

Chris Thompson
Chris Thompson

Edinburgh is the second most attractive city in the UK for entrepreneurs and Aberdeen also ranks in the top ten, according to new research commissioned by wealth manager Kleinwort Hambros.

The research, carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) on behalf of Kleinwort Hambros, shows the boroughs and cities in the UK where entrepreneurs are most likely to succeed. According to Cebr’s criteria for success, which include start-up activity, economic conditions, business conditions and Government support, the London borough of Islington achieved a near perfect score due to its highly educated workforce and excellent internet speed. Edinburgh, a close runner-up, received the highest scores for Government financial support and achieved robust performance across all other indicators.

The top ten list of the best places for budding entrepreneurs is completed by a number of London boroughs as well as Aberdeen and its home borough, Aberdeenshire. In addition, Edinburgh and East Renfrewshire are the first districts from Scotland, and also the first from outside London and the South East, to enter the ranking for business conditions which includes scores for broadband speed and for the level of education of the workforce.

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Chris Thomson, who leads the team of private bankers in Kleinwort Hambros Edinburgh office, which is approaching its ten year anniversary, said: “Whilst we would expect London to dominate any rankings of thriving places for start-ups in the UK, it is great to see that Edinburgh and Aberdeen are now firmly in the top ten places offering the most likely conditions to produce the most successful entrepreneurs of the future. This is testament to the great efforts made by both public and private sector initiatives to provide support for young companies and their founders. These results show that this investment is really bearing fruit.”

Cebr’s Government indicator, which analyses Government expenditure on enterprise, economic development and science and technology, shows that many Scottish cities and districts come top of the table. According to the data, Scotland receives the largest share of Government expenditure with Glasgow and Edinburgh receiving £162 million and £133 million respectively.

Mr Tompson added: “In Aberdeen, the local industry is predominantly in the oil and gas sector which has attracted a large number of new businesses, over the cycle of exploiting these resources.

“In Edinburgh, we have a well-educated workforce and it is very cost effective to set up business here. The world leading university also produces innovative new ideas that often attract support from the well-established angle investing networks. Private funds are often match-funded by Government-backed Scottish Enterprise which has proven to be a successful formula in funding new businesses and giving them both the capital and expertise that they need to flourish.”

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