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written by
Charlotte Harwood

Starting a business in Liverpool

Boat on river in Liverpool

It’s a city with a rich maritime and musical heritage, but Liverpool has much more to offer than just boats and the Beatles. And for small businesses and start-ups, there are few places with such a wide variety of opportunities on offer.

Something for every business

You’ll find some of the best enterprise parks around in Liverpool, with Liverpool Innovation Park among the city’s biggest and best. The park provides office space, leisure and business services, and plenty of networking opportunities – all within its central hub. 

For freight and logistics, Liverpool Superport provides real estate opportunities to businesses looking to make the most of its expansive reach. Its current range is 35 million people within a 150-mile radius, with a soon-to-be-launched deep-water terminal that will be able to service 95% of the world’s largest container ships. 

Liverpool’s retail scene is also flourishing, and the £1billion Liverpool ONE shopping centre saw over 26 million visitors in 2012 alone – a number that continues to grow year on year.

Support for start-ups

In recent years, the Centre for Cities reported that Liverpool has one of the lowest numbers of small businesses in the country at 180 SMEs per 10,000 people. Despite this, the city has an established support network for start-ups and small businesses, such as the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) which focuses on low-carbon solutions, tourism, and building an ‘innovation economy’. The LEP works to create the best conditions for business growth by providing support and enhancing skills, all with the aim of making the city the business destination of choice.

For start-ups, Liverpool offers a range of business accelerators to help kick-start growth. Idea Alive, which offers support to early-stage digital businesses in particular, and Spark Up, a free 12-week business accelerator programme that provides co-working facilities, collaboration opportunities, and mentoring to support entrepreneurs and small businesses.

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