North and East see growth in number of businesses

house plans 2Business growth across London has been more successful in the north and east of the capital in the past 6 years than the south and west.

The number of businesses has contracted in some central areas and fallen by 32% in the City. Data from the Office for National Statistics shows the largest growth in the number of individual business units between 2009-2015 was in Camden and Lambeth.

But a crescent of boroughs from Harrow in the north to Greenwich in the south east have seen growth above 20% since 2009 and in a number, including Newham and Redbridge, it is over 30%. At the same time there has been just single digit growth on the opposite side of the city.

Business unit growth

The data shows that there are currently 461,020 businesses in London. It’s the largest number of any UK region and the equivalent of the combined number for North West England, Yorkshire and Humberside.

More that 10% of businesses are in Westminster, and it has 10 times more than Barking and Dagenham, which has the fewest with 5,865.

Business unit numbers 2

The largest sector in terms of numbers of businesses in the capital is Professional, Scientific and Technical services, as it is in the UK as a whole. In London this accounts for 24% of all business. In the City of London this sector is 40% of all business units.

Information and Communication services is London’s second biggest sector with 13% of all businesses. Business administration and support, and construction are third and fourth. Across the country, construction is the second biggest industry sector in terms of numbers of businesses and retail makes up a higher proportion of businesses than in does in London.

Source data

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London leads Europe but lags behind US as tech start up base, says survey

town hall and tower bridgeLondon emerges as Europe’s leading tech start-up hub but Silicon Roundabout is still well behind Silicon Valley, according to a survey by a business software company.

The Global Start Up Ecosystem Ranking looked at 5 measurements for a successful start-up hub – performance, funding, talent, market reach and the start-up experience. Compass, a company that sells tools for automated management reports and benchmarking carried out the survey following on from a similar study in 2012.

11,000 people in the start-up sector took part and Compass additionally conducted 200 interviews in 25 countries.

The rankings were dominated by the US with the top 4 places and 6 in the top 10. London ranked in 6th place, up one position from the last such ranking in 2012. Berlin is hot on its heels for the crown of leading European city jumping 6 places to 9th.


Global Start Up Econ-System Ranking 2015
Ranking Location Performance Funding Talent Market Reach Experience
1 Silicon Valley 1 1 4 1 1
2 New York 2 2 1 9 4
3 Los Angeles 4 4 2 10 5
4 Boston 3 3 7 12 7
5 Tel Aviv 6 5 13 3 6
6 London 5 10 3 7 13
7 Chicago 8 12 5 11 14
8 Seattle 12 11 12 4 3
9 Berlin 7 8 19 8 8
10 Singapore 11 9 9 20 9

The fatal flaw in the survey rankings and one that would inevitably knock London down the list is that China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are not included. Compass says that is was unable to get adequate survey participation or data. It would expect to see Beijing in the top 5.

The survey shows that London scored best for availability and cost of technical talent. It also did well in measurement of performance. The survey says that exit values on London start-ups have gone up 4-fold in the last 2 years.

The survey produced a few findings that may have particular relevance for London as a global capital. 27% of start-ups have investors from abroad, and 29% of people working in start-ups were foreigners to their chosen city.

There was a lack of gender equality in all locations. 18% of start-up have female founders compared to 10% in the survey done in 2012. Separate research, previously reported by Urbs, suggests that this in one area where London is doing better than Silicon Valley.

Source – Compass Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking

See also

London wins plaudits for support of tech sector growth.

Tech start ups more diverse than Silicon Valley but women struggle for funding

People good, infrastructure less so – what foreign business thinks of London


People good, infrastructure less so – what foreign business thinks of London

Pin in the london mapForeign owned businesses have a more favourable view on the availability of skilled staff than their UK counterparts when asked their opinions on London as a place to do business. But they are harsher than UK companies in their verdict on the city’s digital infrastructure and the transport links in London and the wider UK.

The opinions are voiced in the London Business Survey which was carried out for the GLA and the London Enterprise Panel and looked at large companies, SMEs and micro-enterprises employing fewer than 10 people, across 12 sectors.

While 7 out of 10 UK-owned companies say London is a good location for skilled staff 8 out of 10 foreign owned companies think that. And they are not quite so negative about the affordabilty of housing and office space with fewer categorising both as poor than UK owners.



But when it comes to the digital infrastructure and communications only half say is its good compared to 68% of UK-owned enterprises. And they are more negative about the transport infrastructure too.


Foreign or joint ownership accounts for 8% of the business units in London. (The survey defines a business unit as a single site location of a business). 25% of larger business units in London are foreign owned. A quarter of the foreign business units are in the finance and insurance sector and most were set up before 2009. Only 13% are defined as start-ups and established since 2012.

The survey also reveals a positive, forward thinking attitude in foreign business owners in London. 85% said their business planned to grow in the next 12 months, compared to 61% of UK-owned enterprises. Half of them were involved in some form of business innovation including new practices, organisation, strategies or processes.

82% of UK-owned business units in London employ fewer than 10 people. Only 61% of foreign-owned business units fall into this smaller category but that still means nearly 22,000 foreign-owned micro-enterprises now operating in the capital.

Source data

See also

Economic clout helps London to another global cities crown

Where in the world would you like to work?

Jobs growth shows changing face of work

London “most influential” global city

city towersLondon is the most influential city in the world thanks to its pre-eminence as a global financial capital and its location, according to business publisher Forbes.

While the United Kingdom is described as a “second-rate power” the capital leads the list for global influence judged by 8 criteria.  Researchers ranked cities according to the amount of foreign direct investment they have attracted, the concentration of corporate headquarters, number of business niches they dominate,  ease of air travel to other global cities, strength of services like legal and accountancy, financial services, technology and media power, and racial diversity.

The top five cities were:

  1. London
  2. New York
  3. Paris
  4. Singapore
  5. Tokyo

Location plays an important role in London’s ranking. Forbes says that being outside the US and the eurozone keeps it away from, what it called, “unfriendly regulators”. It has the second best air connections in the world, beaten only by Dubai. And it has a time-zone advantage over American in doing business with Asia.

History and tradition play a part too. Forbes says that London is the birthplace of the cultural, legal and business practices that define capitalism.  As the home of the English language it boasts a powerful position in media and advertising.  London has also become Europe’s leading tech start up city

New York came second in the Forbes list though in separate rankings for economic power and as a smart city, both reported by Urbs, it outperformed London.  The top two were some way ahead of third place Paris in all criteria. Singapore was the leading Asian city outperforming the mega cities of China and Japan. Dubai is the only city in the Middle East to make the top 10, thanks, says Forbes, to its globalisation strategy and a population diversity that has made it the crossroads of the world.

The size of the cities was of less importance. Of the top 10 on the list only 3, New York, Tokyo and Beijing, are ranked in the top 10 of the world’s most populous cities.  The cities of the so-called BRIC nations are becoming more important and Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai are all in the top 20. Poor infrastructure means it will be some time before Brazil and India break into the top flight of these rankings, says Forbes.

Source date