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Why choose Edinburgh for Your Start Up Business

Edinburgh City is a great place to start a business.

Edinburgh has it all!

Edinburgh, the largest city in Scotland, is not only vast in size but also offers lots of potential for those looking to start their own business. It's a vibrant city that is increasingly attracting entrepreneurs. With its rich history, diverse culture, and innovative atmosphere, Edinburgh provides a dynamic blend of opportunities for businesses to thrive. The economic landscape is flourishing, supported by a robust business infrastructure and a highly educated talent pool. But it's not just about business; Edinburgh also offers a fantastic quality of life. From its stunning architecture to its lively social scene and breathtaking landscapes, this city has it all. So, if you're seeking a place that combines opportunity, growth, and a great lifestyle, Edinburgh is the answer you've been searching for.Watch this video to find out more.

Why should you start a business in Edinburgh?

Edinburgh has been named the best city in the UK to start a business outside of London according to Nerdwallet. As a result of this, many budding entrepreneurs have moved to the city to start businesses of their own. Not only is Edinburgh now renowned as the best city for a startup business, but it is also a booming technology hub. 21,000 graduates from Scottish universities and colleges each year in areas of IT, engineering, maths and sciences, and Scotland’s software and IT industry is predicted to grow by 38% by 2024. You’ll be in good company when starting a business in Edinburgh, with the city being home to big names such as Tesco Bank, Canon Medical, Deliveroo, TSB, Natwest Group, Computershare, Lloyds Banking Group, and Deloitte. A thriving business community can help a start-up business grow rapidly. Business owners in Edinburgh have access to mentors and a skilled talent pool to expand their business. Plus, the city offers a fantastic quality of life. As well as the wealth of opportunity Edinburgh can provide, business owners and their teams can also enjoy the city’s vibrant nightlife after work.

Access to highly educated candidates

In Edinburgh’s population of just over 500,000, students make up 12%. Home to 4 prestigious universities, Edinburgh really does provide access to world-class talent. Most famously The University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt universities provide Edinburgh businesses with a steady stream of graduates.

Heriot-Watt graduates

Heriot-Watt University is a truly international institution. The university boasts a main campus in the city, along with additional campuses in Orkney and the Scottish Borders. It also has campuses in Malaysia and Dubai. Heriot-Watt is renowned for its world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. It has earned a strong reputation as one of the UK’s top universities for business and industry, making it a worthwhile choice for those interested in these fields, and a worthwhile hire for businesses looking for high-quality graduates.

Keep scrolling for more ideas!

Edinburgh Napier University

For those looking for technology graduates, Edinburgh Napier University provides businesses with a world-class technology-savvy talent pool. With over 20,000 students from all over the world, this university has a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate courses that cater to the ever-evolving needs of Edinburgh’s industries and businesses. Students can study anything from ecotourism and cybersecurity to sustainable construction and design.

The University of Edinburgh graduates

The University of Edinburgh isn’t just one of the top universities in the UK but it is also considered to be one of the top universities in the world. This university is world-renowned for research and development, alongside extremely high-quality teaching. Ranking 4th in the UK for research power, and having obtained the highest marks for student learning experience, it’s easy to see why many choose to study at this prestigious university. With over 500 courses to choose from, the University of Edinburgh provides a diverse range of high-quality graduates.

Queen Margaret University

With a strong focus on social sciences and health and rehabilitation, this university offers vocational courses that contribute to society. By combining academic excellence with vocational elements, QMU produces graduates who are not only knowledgeable but also highly capable. This plays a crucial role in creating a talented workforce that contributes significantly to Edinburgh’s social and economic vitality. QMU graduates are in high demand because they are well-prepared and bring a level of expertise that is synonymous with the university’s high standards.

Government support

Businesses based in Edinburgh have access to a wide range of government support initiatives that are specifically designed to fuel growth and enhance competitiveness. One such initiative that stands out is the Business Gateway, which offers expert guidance, interactive workshops, and a plethora of resources to cater to the needs of both start-ups and established companies. It’s worth noting that Scottish Enterprise also plays a significant role by providing funding opportunities, top-notch training programs, and invaluable assistance for businesses looking to expand internationally.

Now, let’s talk about the Prince’s Trust, a charitable organisation backed by the UK government.

This organisation has created a unique support system that focuses on nurturing young entrepreneurs aged 18-30. Known as the Trust’s Enterprise Programme, it offers business help that goes beyond just financial support. For example, eligible entrepreneurs can benefit from low-interest start-up loans, the guidance of a dedicated volunteer business mentor for a period of up to two years, and, under certain conditions, even a potential grant to kickstart their entrepreneurial journey. This comprehensive programme truly showcases the government’s commitment to fostering new businesses and driving future economic prosperity.

In summary, Edinburgh-based businesses have a wealth of government-backed support available to them, ranging from the Business Gateway and Scottish Enterprise to the remarkable initiatives offered by the Prince’s Trust. These initiatives not only provide financial assistance but also invaluable expertise, mentorship, and resources to help businesses thrive and succeed in today’s competitive landscape.

Why not make the Scottish capital your business' new home?

Edinburgh university is one of the top in the UK

Edinburgh is home to some of the top universities!

Edinburgh has a diverse talent pool

Access a diverse talent pool.

Edinburgh is a technology hub

The capital is a booming hub for technology.

Technologically advanced

Edinburgh has been named one of the top cities for tech outside of London, in the UK. The city has grown its reputation as a technology hub due to high levels of VC (venture capital) funding, and job opportunities in the tech industry. A testament to Edinburgh’s technological business ecosystem is business unicorn Skyscanner. Skyscanner is a business giant, that began as a start-up in a small office in Edinburgh and has now grown into Scotland’s biggest tech company, now being valued at $1bn. The high number of venture rounds in Edinburgh is indicative of a rising class of early-stage start-up companies that will go on to become tech titans. The Scottish government has also implemented a plan to bolster its digital technology sector, aiming to unlock the country’s full potential. Edinburgh has already emerged as a prominent fintech hub, hosting the third-highest number of fintech companies in the UK. Additionally, the wealth tech sector thrives here, with a particular focus on payment technologies.

Why choose a virtual office in Edinburgh?

While Edinburgh might not rank as the most expensive city to rent office space, the costs for startup businesses can still be significant. Virtual offices present a highly cost-effective solution, eliminating the need for physical workspace and the associated overheads. This is particularly advantageous for startups, many of which may operate perfectly well without a physical office space. At Virtual Headquarters we have three prestigious business addresses in Edinburgh to empower your business with a reputable postcode and foster trust and credibility without the steep rental costs. With the money saved on renting physical office space, start-ups can invest those savings back into their core operations, accelerating growth and enhancing profitability.


In conclusion, Edinburgh is an amazing place for businesses, especially start-ups. It’s got top-notch universities that produce talented graduates, the government is super supportive of businesses, and the tech scene is thriving. Choosing a virtual office in Edinburgh is even better because it’s cost-effective and boosts your credibility, letting you focus on growing your business. Setting up a shop in Edinburgh opens up endless opportunities for success and growth in the business world.

Alexandra handles all things marketing here at Virtual HQ

Alexandra O'Hagan

Marketing Executive

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