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written by
Charlotte Harwood

Starting a business in Belfast

Starting a business in Belfast

As the largest city in Northern Ireland, Belfast is naturally a hive of activity. And as the country’s capital, it’s got something for everyone – especially when it comes to small businesses.

If you’re looking to set up shop as a small business or start-up, it’s reassuring to know that Belfast is one of the safest cities in the UK, with comparatively low rates of crime when put up against many other major cities in the UK. A move to Belfast would see you enjoying a level of security that you’d be hard pressed to find in many capital cities, giving you the peace of mind to enjoy living and working in Northern Ireland.

Office space and new recruits

For small to medium sized businesses and start-ups looking for office space, Belfast has it in buckets. Premises are readily available across the city centre, with Belfast Council planning to further this even more with the creation of an Innovation Centre for new and emerging businesses. 

Most small businesses at some point need to take on more staff, and with two  universities – Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Ulster – Belfast makes finding talented employees a breeze. According to Invest NI, over 4,000 Belfast students graduate with business-related qualifications every year, so if you need to take on business-savvy newbies then Belfast is ideal.

A digitally connected city

Belfast Council has grand ambitions to promote the city as one of Europe’s most digitally connected cities. And with Belfast’s evolving tech scene already in full swing, it’s certainly heading in the right direction. Small businesses in the technology industry would easily find a home in Belfast, with plenty of support on hand to help entrepreneurs and start-ups build and grow a sustainable business.

Business in Belfast will only go from strength to strength with the introduction of Belfast Rapid Transit, a brand new high-speed transport network due to be completed in 2017. Belfast Rapid Transit will connect the city like never before, aiming to support sustainable economic growth by providing high-quality access to different parts of the city. And if there’s one thing that really benefits small businesses and start-ups, it’s connectivity. It goes hand-in-hand with networking, making it quick and easy to build links with other businesses around the city and across the country.


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