When a city invests in new businesses as Birmingham is, you should follow the money
The local economy, business investment, and start-ups: three factors you should investigate before deciding to invest in property in any location. But what makes a city sparkle in these areas? What drives start-ups to open, and then become sustainable businesses that grow and drive opportunities for property investors?
In this article, we examine why Birmingham has been named as the ‘most entrepreneurial city’ outside of London, and why this is excellent news for Birmingham property investment.
Birmingham – the city for business and property investment
In 2016, Birmingham recorded the most business start-ups of any UK city. Birmingham has great transport links – it’s within four hours of 90% if the UK’s population, and only one and a half hours from London by train. When HS2 starts services, the commute to London will be less than 50 minutes. With Birmingham International Airport expanding, businesses and travellers have increasing access to world destinations.
The city is also home to an incredible talent pool, and new businesses benefit from a well-honed support structure that includes access to a range of funding opportunities. With a growing population encouraged by an above-average quality of living measurement, Birmingham is an ideal location for businesses to invest and start.
In February 2017, the Start-Up Loans Company (a government-backed provider of funds for new businesses) named Birmingham as the most entrepreneurial city outside London – one of the many reasons that make it so also make it what we consider to be one of the best places to invest in property UK.
An incredible talent pool for start-ups in Birmingham
Birmingham is home to one of the most talented populations in the UK. It offers approaching 250,000 people of working age educated to NVQ Level 4 or higher. Many of the tens of thousands of students who study at one of Birmingham’s four universities stay in the city after graduating, and this is likely to grow as the city actively plans for a high-tech future.
In 2015, 7,310 businesses started up in Birmingham. They have a large population of more than 1.1 million customers on their doorstep. They have easy access to national and international markets. They benefit from a large pool of talented individuals to satisfy their employee requirements, and the average wage here is lower than the national average. Talent is plentiful and affordable.
A framework designed to support business
When investigating property investment opportunities, you shouldn’t simply examine current business, but should also look at how a location offers economic sustainability. Do your research and ensure that your chosen location offers the framework and support needed by new businesses as well as existing. Birmingham excels here.
Birmingham is establishing itself as one of the UK’s tech hubs, with names such as ‘SiliconTech Canal’ or ‘TechBrum’ being used to describe its growing prowess. The Birmingham City Centre Enterprise Zone is a favourite destination for tech start-ups, with the support of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP). It is aiming to create 40,000 new jobs over the next 25 years, and a whopping £2 billion per year to the city’s economy.
Various business accelerators operate in Birmingham, including the Oxygen Accelerator and London Midland Labs Accelerator.
Universities are getting involved in city growth, too. Three science parks exist near or on university campuses: Aston Park, Birmingham Research Park, and University Science Park. Other incubators include BizzInn and Entrepreneurs for the Future (e4f).
There are extensive office premises and co-working facilities across the city. These include Moseley Exchange, designed for independent workers and home-based businesses; Innovation Birmingham, with hot desk offices for tech start-ups; and Urban Workspace at the Longbridge Technology Park.
Of course, we shouldn’t forget that Birmingham is also home to the NEC, the country’s largest business conference centre.
Birmingham City Council provides grants, funds and initiatives ranging from £50,000 to £1 million to small and medium-sized companies wanting to grow their businesses in Birmingham. The Creative Fund is one of the most successful. It provides growth capital to early-stage companies in creative industries.
There is also a range of start-up grants available, including the Business Development Programme and the Enterprise Catalyst Scheme, which offer entrepreneurs up to £15,000 and £50,000 respectively to start-up businesses in the area.
Quality of life – perfect for business and property investment in Birmingham
You’d find it hard to beat the quality of life that Birmingham offers.
For shoppers, the Bullring is one of the UK’s premier shopping destinations, and the city offers an incredible and eclectic entertainment scene. There are many art galleries, a host of incredible restaurants, and a vibrant nightlife. The O2 Academy is one of the best places in the country to catch a concert or gig, and the Birmingham Hippodrome stages some of the largest shows outside London.
Crime rates are among the lowest of all cities and towns in the UK, with just 68.35 crimes per 1,000 residents in 2015 (compared to 90.6 per 1,000 in Liverpool and 82.93 per 1,000 in Leicester, for example).
There are plenty of open spaces, and beautiful countryside is just a few minutes away from the city centre.
Property investors should follow the money and invest in Birmingham
There’s a saying that says you should follow the money. You’d be wise to do so and consider property investment in Birmingham. Businesses and entrepreneurs are leading the way, and all our research says that they are wise to set up in Birmingham.
Live with passion,