Updated: Friday, 17th November 2017 @ 12:59pm

Every cloud... Manchester new company creations at record high as recession redundancies build economic future

Every cloud... Manchester new company creations at record high as recession redundancies build economic future

By Suraj Radia & Phil Jones

Business is booming in Manchester as more people set up their own company last year than ever before, new research reveals.

A report by company formation specialists Duport showed 10,603 businesses were formed in 2012 – a record for the city – 13.7% higher than 2011.

Compared to the rest of the nation – which had an 8.6% growth – Manchester had the highest increase on the previous year out of the ten biggest cities in the country.

Christian Spence, Research Manager at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce believes settlements from redundancies caused due to the recession may be a factor in the record rise.

He said: “Whilst the drive to do this may have originally stemmed from a negative event, the opportunities for the wider economy as a result of a growth in entrepreneurship could help to drive employment in the future.

“Some of tomorrow’s high-growth firms will be being created now here in Greater Manchester.

“Alongside others who have decided not to seek traditional employment, more and more people are now choosing to work for themselves.”

Levenshulme audio/visual technician Daniel Brown, 31, registered his own company, 2nday.co.uk, last year and is enjoying the freedom it offers.

“My wife and I had a little girl 18 months ago and I saw no future in the job I was in,” he said.

“For the next pay grade up I’d need to become a manager and that meant being forced into a role I didn’t really want.”

Mr Brown – who previously worked at the Midland Hotel as an on-site technician – said his wife has now joined him in setting up a business of her own.

“She makes baby clothes and has a successful shop online,” he added. “In the past 12-24 months we’ve gone from working for others to us both being self-employed.

“It was mainly for family reasons but also because I didn’t want to get into a job I didn’t want to do and to take a bit of control over my future.”

Last year also saw a record-high net growth for Manchester, with 4,444 companies being added to company register – a 47.6% growth compared to a UK average of 43.8%.

Mr Brown has an accountant to advise him on taxes but said government resources did not offer any help due to his specific line of work.

He said: “I looked through what the government offered but there was nothing there that impacted on what I was doing.

“Businesses hire my time and use my product as such, whereas a lot of the advice was on getting finance and I didn’t need any of that.”

Dr Alexander Roy, head of research at New Economy, said: “Manchester continues to provide a vibrant and dynamic environment for entrepreneurs despite current economic difficulties, and the start-up figures are testament to this.

"The key though is long-term growth, which means making sure that as many of these new businesses as possible are supported to survive and thrive, and ultimately become the large employers of the future.

"The Greater Manchester Growth Company has been established to ensure that this support, through organisations such as the Business Growth Hub, is coordinated and targeted to best meet the needs of these new businesses and to translate their success into economic growth and employment for city.”

City/Town

Population 2012 number of new company formations 2011 number of new company formations Percentage change (%)
Manchester 1,876,200  10,603  9,329  13.9
Leeds 751,500  4,700  4,167  12.8
Birmingham 2,419,500  10,576  9,499  11.3
London 9,480,600  124,393  112,010  11.1
Newcastle 829,300  2,136  1,968  8.5
Glasgow 598,830  6,807  6,285  8.3
Nottingham 640,900  3,762  3,526  6.7
Liverpool 787,600  3,936  3,736  6.4
Sheffield 810,000  3,375  3,215  5
Bristol 810,000  6,378  6,160  3.5

TOP OF THE LEAGUE: Manchester leads the way of the ten most densely populated UK cities in terms of percentage change

Peter Valaitis, Managing Director of Duport.co.uk said:  “Manchester is an extremely vibrant city with a diverse business base that is helping it to prosper in a difficult economic climate.

“Our report shows that company formation numbers have been rising sharply since 2008.

“With so many new businesses setting up in the area, the city looks likely to become a very popular location for company formation in years to come.”

Statstics source: Population figures from centreforcities, all other statistics from Duport.co.uk

Picture courtesy of MyTudut, with thanks.

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.