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REVEALED: the most entrepreneurial areas of Greater Manchester…and the least

Oct 29, 2018 Red Flag Alert Updated On: August 17, 2023
The Most Entrepreneurial Areas Of Greater Manchester
Bury is the most entrepreneurial borough in Greater Manchester with the highest rate of firms launched last year, according to new research published today.
  • More start-up firms launched in Bury than anywhere else, per head of population, in Greater Manchester.
  • Entrepreneurs still thrive in city centre as Manchester comes second.
  • Wigan comes bottom of the table despite second largest population in Greater Manchester.

The town famous for black pudding, the Neville brothers and its 500-year old market tops the inaugural Red Flag Alert Start-up Index with almost twice the rate of limited companies (29 per 1,000 people) launching in the district in 2017 compared to nearest rival Manchester (16 per 1,000 people).

Trafford came third with 12 people per 1,000 launching a new company in 2017.

33,112 limited companies were launched in Greater Manchester last year. So far, in 2018, 18,518 have been launched.

Mark Halstead, managing director of Red Flag Alert, the Manchester-based business intelligence service, which produced the index, said:

“Bury is leaps and bounds ahead of any other district in Greater Manchester when it comes to the rate of new companies being launched in 2017. It’s Bury Means Business campaign clearly had an impact with people who wanted to start their own company.

“Manchester city centre still remains attractive as a location to register a new limited company, which is no surprise to us as the city continues to be an international hub for many sectors including FinTech and professional services firms. 

“Seeing Wigan at the foot of the table will be a blow to the local council but not entirely unexpected for those who saw the council’s bizarre Zoltar ‘fortune teller’ campaign launched in 2016 to drum up business in the town. On the basis of our research this campaign failed to inspire people to launch their own company in Wigan.”

3 key reasons why Bury is good for business:

1)  Transport links: the town is handy on the M60 for the airport, Metrolink and just a ten-minute ride into Manchester City Centre.

2)    Entrepreneurial heritage: Bury’s famous market was established more than 500 years ago and it has a strong trading culture.

3)    Skills: Bury’s residents are proportionally more highly qualified than residents across the region and the UK (Nomis 2016).

Red Flag Alert Start-up Index

Greater Manchester

BURY    5644    189,628    29.76    1   
MANCHESTER    8816    545,501    16.16    2   
TRAFFORD    2998    235,493    12.73    3   
ROCHDALE    2453    218,459    11.22    4   
BOLTON    3065    284,813    10.76    5   
SALFORD    2648    251,332    10.53    6   
STOCKPORT    2797    291,045    9.61    7   
OLDHAM    1656    233,759    7.08    8   
TAMESIDE    1381    224,199    5.65    9   
WIGAN    1654    324,650    5.09    10


For more information on entrepreneurial hotspots, read our article on the most entrepreneurial area outside of London.

Published by Red Flag Alert October 29, 2018

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