As one of the UK’s best places to do business, Manchester is a highly-sought after location for entrepreneurs. Besides being known for two great football clubs (Manchester United and Manchester City) and as a musical hotspot, over 500,000 Mancunians call Manchester home — part of 2.3 million in the greater metropolitan area.
Being at the center of the UK’s business center, reaching London in just 2 hours by train, Manchester is emerging as an excellent place to do business, both for domestic and foreign organizations. In this article, we’ll take a look at 5 of the top reasons that now is the time to start and grow a business in Manchester.
Reason #1: Great atmosphere for startups
Manchester has been consistently recognized as a startup hotspot, outpacing small business growth in the UK at almost 10% (the growth of businesses in the UK averaging 4.3%, as of 2016 numbers). This creates an atmosphere of innovation and excitement, both for businesses and investors. Businesses that want to start a business in Manchester have a fertile pool of talent and business incubators, such as Ignite and Wayra, which are paving the way for even more projected growth.
Reason #2: The growth of the tech sector
Manchester has seen a large number of tech-based companies call the city home, with industries such as cloud computing, audio/visual design, biomedical, network infrastructure, and so forth, thriving within the Greater Manchester area. This emphasis on future technology ensures that the upcoming outlook of Manchester will be vibrant and sustainable for decades to come. To give you an idea of how tech-rich Manchester is, refer to this list of 100 tech companies that are redefining the city.
Reason #3: Emphasis on higher education
Manchester is a highly-educated city, Just to give you an idea, here are stats related to education in the city:
- 99,000 student attending Greater Manchester’s four universities
- 33,000 graduates per anum
- 383,000 students and 22 universities within an hour’s drive
- 19,000 international students
With the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, and the University of Salford involved in developing students with highly sought-after skills, Manchester has a surfeit of talented labor to staff thriving businesses as they scale and grow.
Reason #4: Political support for Manchester’s business growth
If there’s one thing that the governing body of the UK can agree on, it’s greater business growth. At the heart of this has been the Northern Powerhouse initiative, particularly DevoManc. DevoManc is a policy created to support local businesses, devolving financial and political decision-making to Greater Manchester, which gives more local control to decision-makers spending public money on supporting Manchester-based businesses.
Reason #5: Strong ecosystem for entrepreneurs
Perhaps it’s due to Manchester’s long rainy winters, but the city has a habit of combining its love of alcohol, food, and entrepreneurship for networking, mentoring, and learning opportunities. This cross-pollination has come in the form Silicon Drinkabout Manchester (based on Silicon Drinkabout London) and Start-up Brew, where regularly-occurring events are held over drinks to strengthen and bolster the city’s entrepreneur network so that everyone wins.
If you’re convinced that you should set up a business in Manchester, you may have some concerns about the overheads and expenditures necessary to establish a business presence there. This is especially true for startups and small businesses, which may not have the available capital to take advantage of Manchester’s great opportunities.
However, there’s an easier way than setting up a physical location overseas: using virtual phone numbers. Virtual phone numbers allow your business to reach customers by phone instantly, no matter where your business is located. By using UK virtual numbers, your organization can tap into the talent pool of Manchester and the many businesses that proliferate in the area. Similarly, by using UK toll free telephone numbers from Global Call Forwarding, your business can gain authenticity by allowing callers in Manchester and the rest of the United Kingdom to reach your business without incurring charges.