Since Edinburgh was named as one of the best places for startups, small businesses have been booming in many parts of the city. Some of the factors that set the capital city apart from other cities in the UK include; affordable living and office space and reliable internet connections and transport networks.
Also entrepreneurs have access to a large talent pool of motivated graduates with innovative tech ideas and enthusiasm in abundance! Here are more reasons why Edinburgh has become the best place to launch a small business.
1. Unique characteristics
Edinburgh is a small city that offers a high quality of life to its residents. It is the size of this historical city that can hold many benefits for the cities budding business folk.
Entrepreneurs are likely to bump into founders of thriving business because the community is so small. Your business will be in close proximity to companies that have completed the same journey that you are about to embark, leaving case studies of the do’s and don’ts of a starting a successful business in Edinburgh.
The city has a large network of investors that assist individuals in setting up new businesses. Networking in Edinburgh is fruitful because the city has a real sense of community which can be lost in larger business hubs like London. Business owners and entrepreneurs alike are also attracted to the city because of the vibrant social life. The city has many recreational sports for families and individuals alike.
2. Access to financing
Business owners struggle to get capital to launch their ventures in competitive markets. Most of them need loans and grants to supplement their savings. The process of accessing funding is easier in Edinburgh. Business owners can access loans from the Small Business Loan Fund, which is specifically designed for new startups and small entities.
An alternative option is Archangels, which is one of the largest networks of investors in Scotland. The network has been building its finance source for small business owners in Edinburgh. If you want to set up a business here, it’s a good idea to find out the requirements for these financial institutions to see if your business is eligible to access such funding.
3. Multiple opportunities to pitch new ideas
Sometimes all that an upcoming entrepreneur has is a good business idea but they have no idea how to take that to the next phase of the business cycle. There are investors that specialize in funding these innovative ideas and developing business plans in order to develop a viable business.
In Edinburgh, you have multiple opportunities in terms of events to pitch your ideas to potential investors. One of these opportunities is the Edinburgh’s Entrepreneurship Club that invites entrepreneurs to share their ideas and insights. The E-Club as it is popularly known provides an opportunity for the startup community to get their big break.
Another opportunity is the Lauch.ed, which is a University-sponsored program. The program holds a “Business Idea” Competition which reaps great rewards for the winner. The program also gives useful start-up advice and support.
4. Access to start-up support
We have already mentioned a few of the organizations that offer financing and support to start-ups. Some business owners move to Edinburgh from other cities to access this kind of mentoring. Organizations like Float target small businesses with their support program. Float is situated in CodeBase, which is the largest tech hub in the UK.
Other organizations that help start-ups in Edinburgh get off the ground include Business Gateway, Entrepreneurial Scotland, and Scottish Enterprise. Many business owners join such organizations with just an idea and a passion to make it work. The organizations will then provide the required support, advice, and in some cases funds to help the entrepreneurs actualize their dreams.
5. High quality of life
You need the best talents to help build your venture from scratch. Paying competitive salaries is just one way of attracting and keeping top talents and you must think of employee welfare beyond the normal working hours in order to retain such talent. Edinburgh has proved to be among the best places to live in the UK. The summers are warm (sometimes!)and the grass is always green. However, the low cost of living is the main thing that attracts top talents in the city. Renting an office in Edinburgh is cheap for a start-up.
Employees need good places to relax after work and the city provides multiple activities to do after work. Edinburgh has so many joints that serve delicious food, drinks, and cocktails. Multiple festivals are held in the city at different times of the year. Better still, residents enjoy a great hiking track in the heart of the city.
6. Great reputation
Edinburgh is one of the few cities in the UK that have held a good reputation for many years. The negatives associated with the entrepreneurial hub are few compared to other cities. The sense of community and friendliness contribute to city’s well-deserved reputation. Perhaps the small size of the community enables the residents to interact and make the city the best place to live in the UK.
You have more than enough reasons to start a small business in Edinburgh. The great support from organizations and investors, access to top talents, access to funding, and a strong business network will help you build the venture fast. In addition, you will have a vibrant social life and assure your employees of a low cost of living.