Sole traders with in-demand skills, entrepreneurs with big ambitions or small business owners with a niche market or product can all find success in Manchester. Known as “the Original Modern City,” Manchester has a long-held reputation for commerce and industry. Business in Manchester is booming. You can take advantage of the many benefits of starting up in this exciting city.

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Manchester boasts a successful business reputation that still holds true today. Approximately 26,000 businesses operate in the city. Together, they provide a thriving economy for its population of 530,000. Manchester is the sixth-largest city in the UK.

So, how do you break into the business community in Manchester? Let’s take a look at how to go about building and growing your business in one of the UK’s most exciting and vibrant cities.

Location for Your Business in Manchester

Manchester has plenty of commercial property in and outside the city center. The Northern Quarter is home to many of the region’s creative and digital businesses, as well as specialty retail stores, restaurants, and bars. It has a range of flexible office spaces to hire.


Spinningfields, the city center of Greater Manchester, also has flexible office space. Plenty of big brands, banks, and other corporate operations make their home in this vibrant area. In addition, you may take advantage of the many co-working office spaces available, such as the new co-working office container development at Pollard Yard.

Outside of the city center, business parks provide commercial real estate of all kinds. Of particular interest are spaces that rent by the desk for maximum flexibility. Consider factors such as accessibility, travel links, digital provision, and other available services to best serve your preferred customers.

Financing Your Business in Manchester

Most businesses will need some financial assistance to get the wheels in motion. Because of Manchester’s incredible business community, financing is available in a variety of ways. Much of the available funding is underwritten by a combination of public funds and angel investment. For example, the Business Growth Company in Manchester connects businesses to various loans and funding sources. Apply online to get the ball rolling.


Take Advantage of Support

The Business Growth Hub is a government-supported non-profit which provides a wide range of business services to entrepreneurs in Manchester. These include business mentoring, property finder services, access to finance, networking and training. Many of these services are publicly-funded and free to businesses that use them. In general, this business development and support services are available to all entrepreneurs, sole traders, and SMEs in Greater Manchester. 

Networking Your Business in Manchester

Whether you are looking for partners, suppliers or customers, business networking is a worthwhile practice for success. Several Manchester organizations offer opportunities for entrepreneurs to connect. The most obvious is the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, which also offers a wide range of other business services, such as training, lobbying, recruitment services, and flexible working space. You can sign up for membership online and immediately engage with networking events, courses and other services of interest. 

Business in Manchester - Networking

Another organization, Pro-Manchester hosts similar member-to-member networking events and has a specific small to mid-size enterprise (SME) offer which is well worth investigating. 

Building the Right Team

Manchester is filled with recruitment agencies, including many who specialize in particular sectors or fields. This gives any business in Manchester an edge for developing an enthusiastic and successful team. A significant percentage of these are located directly in the city center and are national branches. There are also non-profit agencies that source people for temporary work (such as catering or event support) and do not charge a fee for these services. 

Consider the non-profit recruitment agency Aspire, an “award-winning . . . ethical recruitment agency” for your recruitment needs. Furthermore, you may consider the Manchester Convention Centre’s regular recruitment events and graduate talent from the local University.

Apprentice Advantage

Apprentices are a great route to bringing fresh young talent into your business in Manchester. The city has a long tradition of training up-and-coming professionals through apprenticeships in local businesses. Apprenticeships are available across dozens of sectors and employers can gain funding and support to train existing staff through apprenticeship frameworks. There are also apprentices looking for employer placements. Research organizations like Skills Solutions and Trafford College for your apprenticeship needs.

Selling Products in Manchester

If you have a direct retail model, you’ll find everything from high street premises to pop-up stores and stands in retail hubs such as the Triangle, Northern Quarter and Arndale. There are also regular markets and trade shows across the city and its surrounding boroughs. 

A large number of businesses operate e-commerce models, making use of the warehouse space and excellent transport and communication links that facilitate logistics models. Dropshipping warehouses are also located in the various boroughs of Manchester. For instance, Trafford Industrial Estate which is just next to Salford Quays is just a short drive out of the city center.

Running a business in Manchester offers unparalleled opportunities for entrepreneurs. As a thriving industrial city, it also has immediate access to customers and the marketplace that are essential in driving long-term success.