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written by
Charlotte Harwood

Starting a business in Sheffield


Having grown from its roots as an industrial town, Sheffield has rapidly become a top destination in the north of England for businesses of all shapes and sizes, and a growing number of start-ups are choosing to call the Yorkshire city their home. 

Strong connections to academic institutions

Access to talent is boosted by the city’s two universities, the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University. The University of Sheffield in particular offers collaboration opportunities to businesses looking for the chance to partner with the academic institution in finding real-world solutions.

In fact, the University of Sheffield’s business initiatives go even further with its very own incubator scheme, the Sheffield Bioincubator. The USi incubator provides office and lab space to start-ups and entrepreneurs, as well as easy access to collaborate with the University and make use of its facilities on-campus.

Support from the start

Sheffield’s enterprise credentials have been firmly set in stone thanks to its two-year stint hosting the MADE festival for entrepreneurs, an annual event for entrepreneurs to share their success stories and offer words of wisdom to budding business people.

Beyond the festival, small businesses and start-ups can find the support they need to succeed through accelerator programmes like Sheffield’s Dotforge, which targets tech start-ups and guides them through the phases of business development, from the initial seed stage right through to launch.

The Sheffield Enterprise Programme also provides a wide range of support for start-ups and established businesses, including workshops, mentors, and networking opportunities to help get everything on the path to success.

Excellent digital infrastructure

Like all major cities in the UK, Sheffield has an excellent digital infrastructure that’s vital for any business in this day and age. And with £22 million of investment to increase the provision of superfast broadband, doing business in Sheffield is becoming even easier – and speedier.

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