Kayleigh Alexandra from Micro StartUps discusses why Wales is the perfect location for business start ups.
Today’s ambitious digital entrepreneurs have more freedom than ever before when it comes to location. There’s minimal need to truck around bulky equipment (a laptop is often enough) and 24/7 global internet connectivity lets you respond to emails wherever you go. With high-end office locations prohibitively costly for startups everywhere, why not choose the location first?
After all, the quality of your location will have a huge impact on your chances of doing well, affecting not only the extent and quality of your networking opportunities but also your mood (and thus productivity) — a strong company culture can be the difference between success and failure, and being unhappy where you are will inevitably damage your company culture.
Having established all of that, if you’re thinking about starting a business and looking for somewhere to do it, Wales deserves a prominent place on your list. Here’s why:
The transport and communications links are excellent
From its central UK position, Wales allows fast access to the rest of the UK and Europe. Whether you prefer to travel by car, train, bus, coach, or plane, you’ll find no shortage of accommodating transport services to get you where you need to go — something likely to prove extremely useful should you find yourself courting deals with international partners.
Don’t really need to use transport much? Perhaps you’re aspiring to run a digital-only business from the comfort of your own home, something that’s increasingly viable. Well, following the Superfast Cymru scheme from BT and the Welsh Government, fibre broadband is accessible to much of Wales, and more work is set to be done in the near future.
The Welsh tech sector is growing quickly
Even businesses that don’t in principle need advanced digital technology will be required to embrace it to keep up with the competition, so having a strong tech infrastructure is a huge advantage for any business area — and the Welsh investment in the tech industry is already paying off significantly.
London will of course continue to dominate the UK for technology, but the access to broadband the allure of better living standards is seeing tech companies spread throughout the UK, and regional tech hubs like that of South Wales are benefitting hugely (even in the lucrative and hotly-competitive fintech field). By setting up in Wales, you can ensure access to the latest tech developments without needing to deal with the inflated costs of England’s capital.
The scenery is breathtaking
Wales is world-renowned for its remarkable natural beauty, setting out an enticing mix of lush greenery, scenic vistas, and hike-friendly mountains. If you’re in the early stage of creating an online-only business (or if you’re looking for businesses for sale that you can run digitally), Wales demands serious consideration by virtue of its scenery alone.
Think about it — what’s the point of working away from a stuffy office if you stay inside a stuffy house all the time? Maintaining a strong work/life balance is extremely important for both productivity and mental health, and there can’t be many better ways to relax after a long day of work than with a mountainside walk.
The government supports small business
As well as sharing all the advantages of the UK business marketplace, Wales also offers non-repayable government financing up to a significant maximum of 45% on projects investing in the Welsh economy, and provides access to flexible business finance from the Development Bank of Wales.
Factor in the powerful influence of the regional government, and you have a business environment extremely advantageous for any business in a position to positively affect the Welsh employment market. Make Wales your long-term home and you’ll never find yourself lacking high-quality support.
Factoring in all the elements important for running a growing business in the digital era, it’s clear that Wales is a very attractive option. Few places in the world offer such a combination of magnificent scenery, innovative technology, supportive business policies, convenient transport links, and affordable living costs.
To learn more about the various support schemes maintained by the Welsh government, you can visit the official business site — and be sure to follow along with this blog to see countless excellent examples of thriving Wales-based businesses.
Kayleigh Alexandra is a content writer for Micro Startups, a site created to provide support, resources and news about (and for) pioneering startups and small businesses everywhere. Check out the blog to read up on the latest news and inspiring entrepreneurial stories, and follow us on Twitter @getmicrostarted.