Edinburgh tops list of cities outside London for most high-growth businesses

Edinburgh has topped a list of cities outside London with the largest number of high-growth businesses.

Barclays Eagle Labs and Beauhurst, a searchable database of the UK's high-growth companies, have today published the Unlocking Growth report. The document “identifies the key to generating growth by exploring the importance of public- and private-sector partnerships in creating strong local technology ecosystems in which businesses can start and scale successfully”.

Edinburgh ranked highest with 621 high-growth businesses calling the city home, 280 of which are technology companies. The report noted that the Scottish capital has seen investors make £940 million in total equity investment in tech companies since 2011, while its universities have produced 83 spin-outs commercialising academic research, and there are various business incubator and accelerator programmes.

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Edinburgh is home to 621 high-growth businesses, 280 of which are technology companies, the report says. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images.
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This is in addition to local government intervention in allocating funding, for example through Invest Edinburgh and the Edinburgh and the South-East Scotland City Deal, the report also flagged.

The Edinburgh Eagle Lab business incubator space supports 28 ecosystems across the UK, providing mentoring and networking opportunities, and business support, for example.

The Edinburgh Eagle Lab is soon to be joined by two more locations in Scotland, at the Halo Enterprise and Innovation Hub in Kilmarnock and at the new Barclays campus in Tradeston, Glasgow, which officially opened last week.

UK Digital Minister Chris Philp said: “Business is booming in Edinburgh and as these brilliant new figures show, the city is rapidly becoming one of the UK's leading technology hubs.

“We are backing businesses across Scotland with pro-innovation policies and supporting people to get the skills they need to succeed in this dynamic industry.”

Investment platform specialist ShareIn has been a resident at the CodeBase business incubator since its launch in 2014 and has remained headquartered there after it became home to the first Barclays Eagle Lab in Scotland in 2018.

Co-founder and chief executive Jude Cook said: “A strong local ecosystem has been key in ShareIn’s success.” She and co-founder Andrew Pickett “met because of the ecosystem”, at a University of Edinburgh Business School event.

"Now we’ve grown, but collaboration within the Edinburgh ecosystem and wider remains crucial in scaling ShareIn even further, allowing consumers to invest in and fund the businesses they genuinely care about.”

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