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.

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 9th July 2021, 8:07 am
Jodie Marshall, network co-ordinator of Sheffield Social Enterprise Network
Jodie Marshall, network co-ordinator of Sheffield Social Enterprise Network

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.

Sheffield University has produced over 6,000 business founders

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.”

Hallam University was tenth in the UK for producing business founders, with 4,407, just behind Nottingham University.

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