Liverpool and Manchester are among the five most entrepreneurial cities in the UK, according to new data.
The Start-up Loans Company (SULCo) has ranked locations across the country based on how much money it has invested in each area.
London topped the list, with aspiring business owners in the capital receiving loans worth more than £100m. Birmingham was second with £9.2m, Liverpool was third at £4.9m and Sheffield and Manchester were ranked fourth and fifth at £4.5m and £4.4m respectively.
A total of 17,339 businesses from across the five – and more than 58,000 across the UK – have received low-interest loans from the government-backed scheme since it was launched six years ago.
Robert Parry set up Liverpool-based RLP Guitars in 2014, which specialises in hand-made, custom-order electric instruments. He used his loan to cover cashflow in the first few months, during which he improved his operating methods and widened his customer base.
“Guitars have always been a passion of mine and a few years ago I decided to take the leap and start my own business,” he said. “The low-interest start-up loan helped me realise my ambitions and create a business that I am confident will grow.”
A spokesperson for The Start Up Loans Company added: “Start-ups are a critical part of our economy and we’re delighted to see the growth in self-employment across all regions of the UK. Setting up a business can be tough, which is why along with our financial support, we offer all start up loan recipients free mentoring to ensure they are supported along their journey.”