Manchester is one of the worst places for startups in 2020, data reveals

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Manchester has been home to a visible boom of small businesses over the past decade.

The areas of Northern Quarter and Ancoats have openly welcomed a large wave of quirky, modern-thinking neighbours, with dozens of millennial-manned digital agencies settling in amongst the independent cafes and restaurants.

However, recent data suggests that many of these startups struggle to survive in the long-term.

A study launched by entitled “Startup Cities” has shown Manchester ranks among the worst places to run a successful startup.


According to the website's data, only 37.52% of the 3385 small companies set up in the city were still trading after five years.

This confirmed Manchester as the sixth-worst place in the UK to begin a business behind Plymouth, Portsmouth, Liverpool, Northampton and Glasgow.

Worst places for a startup (& their five year survival rate):

  1. Plymouth - 30.73%
  2. Portsmouth - 35.36%
  3. Liverpool - 35.78%
  4. Northampton - 35.99%
  5. Glasgow - 37.46%
  6. Manchester - 37.52%
  7. Newcastle-upon-tyne - 38.08%
  8. Stoke-on-trent - 38.51%
  9. Kingston-upon-hull - 38.76%
  10. Leicester - 38.83%

Entrepreneurs appeared to find the most success in Bristol, with 44.36% of new companies in this city surviving past the five-year mark.

Startups also fared well in Bolton, with more than 42% of new businesses succeeding in this Greater Manchester town.

Best places for a startup (& their five year survival rate):

  1. Bristol - 44.36%
  2. Brighton and Hove - 44.13%
  3. Leeds - 42.88%
  4. Sheffield - 42.66%
  5. Cardiff - 42.34%
  6. Bournemouth - 42.31%
  7. Edinburgh - 42.12%
  8. Bolton - 42.03%
  9. Bradford - 42%
  10. Aberdeen - 41.87%

Whilst location appeared to play a role in the odds of a business making its fifth birthday, nationwide data suggested most will fail within this time period.

Overall, just two in five UK startups manage to trade for a minimum of five years.

You can read the full study online at here.

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