A new report has confirmed that small businesses are playing a major role in driving the UK’s economy forward, and has highlighted the scale of their impact – and the cities where they’re particularly important.

The npower Business and Capital Economics report reveals that SMEs will create more than 200,000 jobs by 2020, and an amazing £16 billion will be generated annually by the British cities that have the best growth prospects for these SMEs. This should be a major incentive for cities to invest in helping new business to flourish.

16.8 million workers currently clock into a small business daily, and SMEs account for a huge increase in private sector employment since 2010 - almost 80% - a clear indicator of just how important these businesses are to the UK economy and for employment growth.

So which cities are the ones benefitting most from this entrepreneurial energy, and which ones have the best potential for supporting SMEs going forward?

The report, perhaps unsurprisingly, identified London as one of the cities with the best potential for entrepreneurial growth in the next five years. However the report also highlighted Leeds, Birmingham, Brighton and Hove, Bristol and Manchester as hotspots to look out for, based on costs, broadband speed and worker skills.

We have always been a huge believer in the power of startups to drive the UK economy forward and keep us innovative and disruptive on a global scale, so it’s fantastic to see results like this – and to see that small businesses are thriving all over the UK, not just London, thanks to factors such as improved infrastructure and access to finance. Now the government and local authorities needs to do more to encourage this, so the benefits can be felt not just in the cities, but everywhere.


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