The North is Becoming the Business Powerhouse of the UK
Over 11 million (11.6) people were put on furlough during 2020 and did not know when they would return to full-time work. With the majority of workers across the country facing the possibility of redundancy, this encouraged people to use their work experience in other ways by creating their own businesses. The latest figures given by the government reveal that the total register size for businesses in the UK was over 4.7 million.
To help pinpoint how these businessmen and women kick-started their own businesses during the COVID-19 crisis, data experts at alldayPA looked into Google search volumes centred around what skills are needed to launch a start-up company, as well as into which cities are seeing the highest growth of entrepreneurs.
According to recent figures, people are making 154,300 searches per month looking for courses centred around launching their own enterprise. Over 65,000 (68,450) of these searches were generated by people based in the North of the UK, suggesting that the North has the greatest number of aspiring entrepreneurs in the country.
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According to findings by the UK’s leading “on-demand call answering customer services” group alldayPA, Chester has been revealed as the city with the most aspiring entrepreneurs. In second place was Edinburgh (17.5 times more likely), followed by Bristol (16.2 times more likely), Leeds (14.5 times more likely) and Sheffield (14.3 times more likely). The data experts found that the North is seeing the quickest growth, suggesting that it won’t be long before the North of England overtakes London by becoming the business powerhouse of the UK.
Through these findings, alldayPA has pinpointed which cities in the UK have the most individuals with the greatest passion to launch a start-up company; their search data has helped to rank locations across the UK based on the amount of aspiring entrepreneurs they appear to have.
The cities which have the highest number of aspiring entrepreneurs:
Chester – 37.2 times more likely to search for start-up-related queries.
Edinburgh – 17.5 times more likely to search for start-up-related queries.
Bristol – 16.2 times more likely to search for start-up-related queries.
Leeds – 14.5 times more likely to search for start-up-related queries.
Sheffield – 14.3 times more likely to search for start-up-related queries.
Cardiff – 11.7 times more likely to search for start-up-related queries.
Newcastle – 10.9 times more likely to search for start-up-related queries.
Nottingham – 9.3 times more likely to search for start-up-related queries.
Brighton – 8.0 times more likely to search for start-up-related queries.
Glasgow – 6.8 times more likely to search for start-up-related queries.
Birmingham – 6.05 times more likely to search for start-up-related queries.
Liverpool – 5.9 times more likely to search for start-up-related queries.
Southampton – 4.8 times more likely to search for start-up-related queries.
Manchester – 4.6 times more likely to search for start-up-related queries.
London – 2.6 times more likely to search for start-up-related queries.
Other findings suggest that people living in the North of the UK, in areas such as Chester, Edinburgh, Leeds and Sheffield, are 4.1 times more likely to search for what types of skills you need to start up a small business. These results compare to people in London who were only 0.73 times more likely to upgrade their skills in order for them to become an entrepreneur.
alldayPA has seen that many budding CEOs have invested in their education by signing up to short-term courses run by universities in London, Manchester and Leeds. Others have attended webinars and talks led by successful business leaders who have shared industry tips that have helped them to structure their businesses by looking into investors, bank loans, and recruitment. However, not everyone studied to become a CEO; in fact, alldayPA also spoke to SMEs founded in the North West who don’t have business qualifications.
Fashion retailer, Hex MCR, is already catching the eye of celebrities and reality TV stars including Scott and Adam Thomas, footballer Danny Simpson, Sigma’s Joe Lenzie and Love Island’s Callum Jones, to mention a few. The brand — co-founded by Mancunian construction professionals Luke Powell and Andy Gibson — started trading online in October 2020, offering a selection of Hex hats on their website. They received such high demand for the trucker caps that the duo decided to expand the collection to include an eco-friendly line, including clothing and bags, for its official launch.
Co-founders Luke Powell and Andy Gibson commented on how they launched their business during the pandemic after spotting a gap in the retail industry:
“We’d been discussing starting a clothing business together for some time,” says Luke. “We noticed streetwear had been growing in popularity, and lockdown only accelerated the demand for athleisure clothing to chill, workout and work in, so, despite the economic uncertainty, we decided to take the plunge and set up the business during the pandemic.”
The business has only been trading for six months and has already experienced a 400% increase in sales from month one to month five thanks to its initial interest from celebrities and influencers.
“Seeing footballers, reality TV stars and other celebrities wearing Hex MCR products has been a huge confidence boost for us,” says Andy. “We wanted to create an authentic, premium brand with humble, urban origins, and we feel that’s what makes the products attractive—simply, the brand is relatable.
We also believe that customer experience is crucial, which is why we send orders in premium packaging; even when you’re shopping online, there is still an experience to be had.”Head of Customer Services at alldayPA, Gareth Jeffery, comments on these search volumes and how alldayPA has helped support SMEs across the country:
“From looking at this data, we can see that people have been inspired to launch their own businesses across the country. As a result, people have been able to find new jobs and work in industries in which they can thrive.”
“Throughout the pandemic, we have continued to help SMEs manage their customer services 24/7. We monitor phone lines, social media, emails, and web chats at all hours of the day so that customers always have the assistance they need. Our service provides businesses in the retail or e-commerce industry an advantage as we are able to ensure that the customer always comes first.”