Glasgow trumps Edinburgh as most popular place to start a business in Scotland

Glasgow has emerged as the most popular place to start a business in Scotland with more than 20 created every day despite the tough economic climate.
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There were 4,038 businesses registered in the city between January and June 2023, an increase of 8 per cent from 2022, according to a new study. Glasgow saw the highest business creation per capita out of all local authorities in Scotland, with Edinburgh ranking second.

Releasing its third annual Business Hotspots list, specialist lender Iwoca said Britain continued to see strong business growth, with nearly 436,000 companies registered in the first half of 2023, up from 402,000 in the same period last year. The list was compiled using analysis of Companies House and Office for National Statistics data. Iwoca, which lends to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), said the increase in business creation showed that “entrepreneurialism is making a comeback”, with self-employment rates on the rise.

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The findings show that in Glasgow, 636 new businesses were created per 100,000 people in the first half of the year. Edinburgh registered 595 per 100,000, followed by Dundee at 424. However, Scotland as a whole experienced the lowest rate of new business creation per capita out of all the regions of the UK monitored, with 365 per 100,000 - marking a slight increase on 2022. London saw the highest rate of business creation in the first half of this year, with 1,768 new businesses being created per 100,000. The north west of England and the West Midlands ranked second and third respectively.

Glasgow saw the highest business creation per capita out of all local authorities in Scotland, according to the latest Business Hotspots list from SME lender Iwoca.Glasgow saw the highest business creation per capita out of all local authorities in Scotland, according to the latest Business Hotspots list from SME lender Iwoca.
Glasgow saw the highest business creation per capita out of all local authorities in Scotland, according to the latest Business Hotspots list from SME lender Iwoca.

Seema Desai, Iwoca’s chief operating officer, said: “It is encouraging to see so many new businesses being created during the first half of this year, despite high inflation and economic uncertainty. Iwoca’s Business Hotspots 2023 list shows that the spirit of entrepreneurship is strong across the whole country, with tens of thousands of businesses being created in each region. This will be vital for the country’s economic growth over the next few years, and is a huge vote of confidence in the UK as a place to do business.”

The positive findings on company creation emerged as restructuring experts warned that a key sector of Scotland’s economy was facing a 10 per cent contraction amid mounting financial and operational pressures.

Releasing new figures, Blair Milne, a restructuring and insolvency partner at Azets in Scotland, said “significant numbers” of entrepreneurs who entered the care homes sector in recent years were considering whether to remain invested while prospective new entrants are being deterred by the scale of the problems. Some 1,050 care homes in Scotland with 40,000 places currently look after an estimated 33,500 residents. However the number of available places could contract by up to 10 per cent during the next five years, Milne warned.

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He added: “Critical issues affecting Scotland’s care homes include staff shortages, high agency fees, inflationary pressures, in particular a sharp rise in food and energy bills, increased compliance costs in the post-pandemic landscape, falling occupancy levels and a shortfall in public funding, with contract rates lagging well behind inflation.”