Outside of London, Manchester has recently been revealed as England’s best city for new business.  With beneficial partnerships between the public and private sector, and strong technology and mentoring networks, startups and entrepreneurs have access to all they require in order to successfully establish and nurture their business in the city. For several years before the pandemic, Manchester already had the country’s strongest growing economy at around 2.9% per year. Now, largely due to increased demand, the majority of small business owners in the North West expect previous activity levels to recover. To see further growth, Manchester-based companies envision taking advantage of support from the city to make further investments, target new sectors and recruit and train more staff.

Maintaining Successful Sectors with Strong Project Management

While Manchester provides great opportunities for business growth, a shortage of project managers could have an impact on all sectors. Project management is a significant component of business in the UK as managers are responsible for planning and organising a company’s resources in order to successfully complete a range of projects within budget and on time. While it is used across all industries, project management is particularly relevant in finance, construction and healthcare, all sectors that are thriving in Manchester.  The city is home to a number of leading medical research institutes and several international financial services companies including Barclays and HSBC. And, three years ago, construction productivity in the Greater Manchester area was at ten times the national average. In order to keep these flourishing industries on track, teaching current and new staff an efficient procedure for project management will be essential.

Developing A Nurturing Environment for Tech StartUps

Successful project management is also proving to be particularly applicable to the IT sector. With a wide variety of projects from web development to cyber security, careful planning and completion is very important even in a small IT startup. This is a common type of new business in Manchester as the city has been found to be second only to London in its suitability for nurturing successful tech startups. Its ranking was decided after examining funding received by companies, their average salaries for software engineers and availability of computer science courses at local universities. While there is still a large pool of talent to choose from in the area, businesses benefit from lower running costs than if they were based in London.

Drawing Plans to Overcome Challenges to Productivity

While focusing on its many strengths, business leaders and industry experts would still like to see greater levelling up in the region in order to meet future productivity challenges.  The recently published Productivity Insight Paper for the North West of England highlights a thriving manufacturing industry and other leading sectors such as life sciences and digital technology. However, it also calls attention to government policy areas such as better local transport links and coordination between the private and public sector that could be improved. Business leaders believe that if action is taken as a result of suggestions outlined in the paper, then productivity levels could be boosted across the North West.

Manchester has now firmly established itself as a leading city for business in the UK. From small tech startups to established global financial institutions, all types of companies in a variety of sectors have the potential to thrive in the city and greater area. Looking to the future, continued support of these businesses is essential in order to close any remaining gaps and sustain a successful levelling up of the city.


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