New businesses are booming in Edinburgh

Commercial Quay Edinburgh business centre

Commercial Quay, Edinburgh

Edinburgh start-ups

Start-ups, and especially tech start-ups, are emerging at a high rate throughout the UK.

While London is seen as the leader when it comes to business start-ups, a number of cities across the country are experiencing major growth and development in this arena; one of the most notable is Edinburgh.

Rated as one of the top urban areas for new business start-ups in the UK, Edinburgh is second only to London in its job growth due to Scotland’s strong economic foundations. Edinburgh – with its long history of education and academia, culture of generosity and endowment, and an eagerness by the community to encourage new businesses and ventures to grow through investment and networking – is an excellent location for start-ups looking to succeed.

Edinburgh tech start-up companies

Home to a wide variety of new businesses, Edinburgh has become particularly noteworthy for the number of tech start-ups that call this venerable city home.

In spite of the city’s relatively small population — approximately 500,000 individuals – the number of tech start-ups in Edinburgh is well above the nation’s average. This success has been hard-won and required the meeting of an intellectual centre with a government-backed finance programme that matches any private funding a young company is able to raise. A number of new tech start-ups have debuted here, with many serving clients and customers outside the UK.

One of the most notable successes in the Edinburgh tech boom has been Skyscanner, an internet site that allows searchers to compare prices on hotels, flights, and car hire. Other tech companies to watch include the gaming site FanDuel, the photo-sharing platform Blipfoto, and Quorate Technology – a company that markets software systems that generate speech-to-text transcripts which can be searched with keywords.

Getting your business started

Starting a new business in Edinburgh begins as it does anywhere else: with writing a business plan.

While this task can seem daunting, it is not necessary to know every detail about where the entrepreneur expects the business to go; in fact, leaving room for the business to grow and evolve will help to encourage exploration in other profitable and potentially innovative directions.

The next step is securing financing. Financial backing can be secured in a variety of ways, including obtaining loans from a bank or other financial institution, as well as applying for grants and pursuing external investment funding from other entities. The Scottish government also offers a fund-matching programme to encourage young companies to locate in the country.

A great deal of start-up assistance can also be found courtesy of the City of Edinburgh Council, including assistance in applying for licenses and advice regarding regulations; planning and building information; assistance in compliance issues; and property relief discounts through the Small Business Bonus Scheme. The Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce is another valuable resource worth exploring.

Many established companies in Edinburgh also provide valuable assistance to start-ups in a variety of ways. For example, TechCube works to encourage and assist new start-ups in the area by providing them with advice and support, networking opportunities, and in some cases even office space.

Currently, 35 businesses are benefitting from the Tech Cube Incubator programme, ranging from fledgling companies to full-scale enterprises.

In addition, new start-ups may want to take advantage of umbrella company services ranging from accounting and payroll services to legal and taxation advice so that the time and energy that would be spent on the financial end of the business can rather be put into helping the enterprise grow.

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