PROSPER MAGAZINE: DIGITAL EDITION
BUSINESS IS DONE BETTER TOGETHER
REGION RANKED FIRST FOR START-UPS
Areas of the West Midlands including Birmingham, Sandwell and Coventry remain a strong place for Start-Ups with Birmingham crowned the UK’s regional start-up capital for the seventh year running, defying challenges to business confidence posed by the Coronavirus pandemic.
New data shows that 18,394 new enterprises started life in the city throughout 2020, marking the highest volume of start-ups outside London and Birmingham seeing a 26.8% uplift in business births from 2019.
The figures are the latest in an annual study from the think-tank Centre for Entrepreneurs (CfE), the UK’s leading entrepreneurship foundation.
This year’s findings also ranked Sandwell and Coventry highly on the list, while Wolverhampton’s registrations increased by over 30% from the previous year.
Although nationwide lockdown restrictions impacted the rate of formations across the UK, the West Midlands – alongside London – had the strongest recovery of any region, recording 62% growth in June.
Among the region’s recent successes is Black Country Chamber member, Virtual Reality (VR) tech firm Atmos VR, the company was founded in 2016 by former military serviceman Kevin Blair to introduce VR to business audiences.
The firm successfully achieved the first step in its plans to expand in December 2020, securing a £1m investment, negotiated by Samahoma Media Advisors, to create a new multiplayer ‘free roaming’ interactive game designed with post-pandemic audiences in mind.
Home to the largest tech and digital industry cluster outside the capital, in the last year the West Midlands has welcomed a series of exclusive programmes to boost growth across these sectors.
This includes a £1.3m Creative Scale Up programme funded by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and led by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), and a new peer-to-peer initiative from the region’s not-for-profit community organisation Birmingham Tech, designed to help 10 local tech companies ‘level up’.