Top Entrepreneurial Locations in the UK

Top Entrepreneurial Locations in the UK

REVEALED: The UK’s top 10 most entrepreneurial towns & cities 2022 

Good news for Small Business Saturday - New research by SME insurance provider Superscript has identified Wolverhampton and Mansfield as the most entrepreneurial city and town in the UK, respectively. Superscript’s analysis of ONS business data, combined with local population data, identified the places that have seen the highest proportion of small business growth*. To see the full full research, methodology and resources for local entrepreneurs in these areas, visit:

Cities and Towns with highest levels of entrepreneurialism per capita are linked below - but we visited three of the top ten in each category and talked to businesses to find out why they through their area was great for business.

Meet Tenaya Wine in Sheffield - a new business gaining traction in this entrepreneurial city

Tenaya Wine in Sheffield describes itself as a neighbourhood wine shop and bar

providing an interesting and accessible range of wines with a focus on female

producers and sustainability. It is situated on Crookes a Sheffield high street and was

created by Virginia Myers (33), who was an assistant winemaker at an urban winery in

San Francisco before moving back to Sheffield and designer Sarah Hatton (45), who

has also spent time in the USA. The business started in August 2022. The business

has both a shop and a bar and is family friendly. Their aim is to bring a taste of

California to Sheffield and wines are set at affordable rates between £8-£15 so people

are able to taste great wines at affordable prices.

The pair set their vision to provide a place to feel comfortable choosing wine, a safe

and non-judgmental space with interesting wines that were sustainably produced

and to showcase female producers, often underrepresented in the wine industry.

Sheffield became the key part of their journey with its location attracting Virgina and

her husband back from California to England. “I was from London, my husband was

from Lancashire, so Sheffield seemed like the perfect mid-point” – she loves the fact

that the city offers a good lifestyle, close to the peak district but in a city full of

independent businesses.”

Starting a business in the midst of a cost of living crisis has been nerve-racking and

she believes rate reform and preferential VAT rates would support businesses like

theirs, however Virginia feels optimistic. “During Covid, it was awful but people still

bought wine. We have kept our wines affordable but interesting, meaning you are

getting wines selected but not paying silly prices. The bar and shop feels like a

comfortable community place and people are interested in the quality and

uniqueness of what we are providing.”

Virginia is not surprised to see Sheffield identified as a good place to do business –

“the city seems very focused on independent businesses, there are not many big

chain stores, people seem more drawn to independent businesses, and seem to

want to support small businesses and try new things.” All a good basis for starting in

the city

House of Zana loves being based in Darlington

Amber Kotrri (28) started House of Zana in Darlington in 2018. Initially as an online
business specialising in handmade garments which she designed and made. In
November 2019, she opened her first store in Darlington. Covid hit in 2020 so she
adapted making scrubs and garments to support NHS workers before being pursued
by Zara for trademark infringement. “It was a tough time, but I got so much support
from local people in Darlington”. 
Amber won the court case but the media surrounding the case generated more
support for her business alongside her growing community of customers in
Darlington as well as across the UK, Europe and the US. Amber’s mission is to grow
her business which has a strong ethical basis, where every scrap of material is
sourced and used. She now employs 6 people in Darlington and 6 people in Albania
(her husband’s home country) and knows her suppliers so everything is connected
from her designs to the final made products.
She is not surprised that Darlington has made it into the top 10 entrepreneurial
locations – “The council and community are so supportive, there is a lot happening in
the area and a lot of excitement around. I grew up here but only really appreciated it
when I returned home after travels. A big factor of success here is the people who
support our businesses. There is a lovely homely feel and people love the boutique
and bespoke nature of our business. It’s friendly and supportive which makes for a
great environment to be happy and grow”
Amber plans to launch her wholesale business later this year and expand
internationally into the US and European markets. When asked what would make
things better for small businesses she believes that collaboration is the key to a more
resilient future. Running your own independent business can be lonely, but group
projects and collaborations where businesses work together on a festival or
collective initiative, even like ShopAppy,  helps galvanise and connect local
Find more information about House of Zana here
Instagram: @house_of_zana
Facebook: @houseofzanauk
Email: [email protected]

Meet Salumi in Plymouth - a business that has gained great support from the community

Chantel and Dave Jenkins run Salumi – a lovely restaurant on Millbay Road in
Plymouth. Started 7 years ago, the couple have continued to adapt and change in
the light of the many challenges facing hospitality businesses in the UK. 
Dave, Plymouth born and bred met Chantel (an Australian) and they decided to bring
modern British cuisine with far flung twists from Asia and Australia to the waterfront
city. During Covid they re-set their vision and expanded their premises with a
vamped up garden and fire kitchen that has been able to capitalise on the increasing
desire for al fresco dining post lockdown. Chantel believes Plymouth to be a fantastic
place to start a business, and particularly an eatery, she explains “There is a huge
opportunity to do good food here, we have amazing things on our doorstep- it is such
a great part of the world, between the moors, the sea, the Tamar Valley. It means we
have access to the best the South West has to offer. I feel super lucky to have such
access to local and quality produce which is key for us.” Chantel is not surprised that
Plymouth is an entrepreneurial location. She believes that the Business
Improvement District (Plymouth Waterfront BID) has a key part to play in that,
describing them as “hugely supportive and approachable.” She also has big hopes
for the city – “There is a lovely camaraderie between the local businesses, we have
got our own beer now which we have brewed in a local brewery. Businesses work
with each other which means we forge long and productive relationships which helps
our businesses to grow.” 
As a Hospitality business she hopes to see more Government support – a break in
VAT or a reduction would help she believes and says the sector is underrepresented
by Government – so to support them, more longer term thinking and representation
would really help
18 Millbay Road,
Plymouth PL1 3PE
[email protected]
Facebook & Instagram @eatsalumi

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