Enterprise city - Sheffield universities ranked highly for producing business founders with 'significant increase' in new firms
Sheffield has seen a ‘significant increase’ in new businesses being launched – particularly around the Covid-19 pandemic - with new research showing both city universities rank highly across the north for producing entrepreneurs.
The University of Sheffield has produced the third most business founders in the north, at 6,626, a study by Resume.io found.
Sheffield Hallam University came in tenth position, producing 4,407 total founders.
Jodie Marshall is founder of A Mind Apart, a Sheffield-based performing arts organisation for children and adults, and a network co-ordinator at Sheffield Social Network Enterprise.
She helps social enterprises get started and to connect with their communities – and said there had been an increase in the sector, where businesses use their profits to make a positive social impact.
She said: “I think there has been a significant increase in new businesses being started in Sheffield over the years, and businesses that are ethical with a social conscience.
"There has definitely been an increase in businesses being set up out of people coming together during Covid.
“Both universities play a role in encouraging entrepreneurship. They really value business in a lot more of the courses they deliver. Contact with the wider community makes students feel more empowered. Sheffield is known as a village and that’s real. You have a real sense of ownership in the city, and people feel they can do something to make a difference.”
In 2018 Sheffield won an award to be named a social enterprise city. Jodie said that south east Sheffield was a hotspot for such ventures launching.
She added: "With a social enterprise the staff feel part of the business a lot of the time, as they are often cooperatives or worker owned.
“South East Sheffield has lots of vibrant social enterprise businesses.”
Despite lockdown, many Sheffield start-ups and social enterprises have managed to survive and even thrive during restrictions.
Jodie said: “Over the last 18 months social enterprise businesses have found ways to continue during lockdown, such as Blend Kitchen on Ecclesall Road - they worked on other things when the service sector had not been open.”
Click here to read the full research on which universities produce the most founders