Stevenage in top two best UK towns for entrepreneurs

Headshot of Adrian Hawkins, chairman of the Stevenage Development Board

Adrian Hawkins OBE, chairman of the Stevenage Development Board - Credit: Courtesy of Spitfire PR

A study has ranked Stevenage the second best town outside of London to start a small business.

The research by business financial platform Tide combined data on factors including the rise in start-ups, the five-year start-up survival rate, and the number of registered businesses as a percentage of the town’s population.

Stevenage ranks behind only Bournemouth in the best UK locations for entrepreneurs to set up shop.

Adrian Hawkins OBE, chairman of the Stevenage Development Board - set up in March 2020 to deploy government funding - said: “We have clear plans for the future growth and development of Stevenage and this study highlights the opportunities available to people in our area.

“Following our successful £37.6m Towns Fund bid earlier this year, and the range of projects being delivered in the ongoing regeneration programme, we now have real momentum going forward over the coming years.”

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Stevenage features in the top seven towns and cities for each ranking factor, the highest ranking aspect being the number of registered businesses, which accounts for 0.59 per cent of the population. There is a 45.54 per cent five-year survival rate for start-ups in the town, and there was a 26.7 per cent rise in new businesses between 2018 and 2019.

Councillor Sharon Taylor OBE, leader of Stevenage Borough Council, said: “We were delighted to hear such amazing news and hope this acts as a platform to drive even more businesses and creative individuals to our town, as well as more opportunities and jobs for our local communities.

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"Our regeneration programme is delivering more flexible working and conference space with every project we complete and, by providing more of these facilities, we can open up the opportunity for even more organisations to flourish.”

Lloyd Briscoe, the council's executive member for economy and enterprise, added: “We know there are numerous SMEs, freelancers and other small businesses based here and that number grows every year, so it’s fantastic to see this entrepreneurial spirit outlined so clearly in this study.

"Stevenage has always provided a platform for growth and there is clearly room for expansion and success within our town.”

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