Skip to main content
3 min read

A Decade In Business: Looking Back To 2014

We’re approaching the midpoint of the 2010s as we look back over the past decade and aim to establish which of Britain’s 63 towns or cities had the best conditions for small businesses to set up, grow, and thrive.

Today, we rewind back to 2014. It’s only five years back, but how much of these events do you remember?


2014 in focus: Scotlands says ‘No’ to independence

In the news, 2014 marked the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I. To commemorate the occasion, some 888,246 ceramic poppies were placed around the Tower of London – one for each of the British or Colonial servicemen killed in the War.

The Scottish Independence vote took place in September, with 55.3% voting ‘No’ to independence. Further plans for devolving powers were announced immediately afterward.

Economically, there was good news for the UK with unemployment falling to 7.1%, surpassing economic forecasts and making an interest rate rise more likely.

It wasn’t such a great year for the England football team. Roy Hodgson’s team crashed out of the World Cup in the group stages for the first time since 1958, their fate sealed after defeats to Italy and Uruguay. 


Where was it best to start a business in 2014?

Brighton, which had been hovering in or around the top three ever since the start of the decade, finally took top spot in Informi’s 2014 Best Place To Start A Small Business research – when looking at a variety of criteria suggesting positive conditions for SMEs.

The seaside city had the third-highest business stock (or number of businesses per 10,000 population) in 2014, the fifth-highest number of business start-ups that year, and the fifth-lowest pollution figures. It finished ahead of Reading, Cambridge, Northampton, and Aberdeen.



The Top 10 Best Places To Start A Business In The UK 2014

(change from last year’s position in brackets)

  UK town/city
1. Brighton (+2)
2. Reading (0)
3. Cambridge (+1)
4. Northampton (-3)
5. Aberdeen (+3)
6. London (+1)
7. Warrington (+5)
8. Bournemouth (-2)
9. Edinburgh (0)
10. Oxford (+14)


We’ve reached the midpoint in the decade. Tomorrow we will be focusing on 2015 as our countdown to discover where the Best Place To Start A Small Business during the 2010s hots up.

Share this content

Leave a Reply

Register with Informi today:

  • Join over 30,000 like-minded business professionals.
  • Create your own personalised account with curated reading lists and checklists.
  • Access exclusive resources including business plans, templates, and tax calculators.
  • Receive the latest business advice and insights from Informi.
  • Join in the discussion through the comments section.