PeoplePerHour reveals 2017 Startup City index

  • Canadian city Vancouver is number one for startups, beating Berlin into second place
  • Manchester flies the flag for the UK, ranked third best city to start a business, with London coming in 14th

If you’re planning to start a business, you might want to head to Vancouver, according to a new study by UK’s leading freelance marketplace PeoplePerHour.

The bustling Canadian seaport has been ranked the best place in the world to start a business, topping the Startup City Index with a high quality of life, good access to office space and relative ease of getting a company off the ground.

Berlin, a well-known startup hub came in at second place and perhaps surprisingly, it is Manchester in at third, beating competition from San Francisco and New York. In fact, Manchester far outperforms its UK rival, London, when it comes to startup appeal, thanks to its low cost of living and the great conditions it offers for startups. London came in 14th place overall, but it has a way to go if it wants to compete with its northern cousin.

Rounding up the top five cities for startups are the Portuguese capital of Lisbon (4th) and Sweden’s Stockholm (5th) who performed well for office availability and rents and ease of starting a business.

Using a variety of data to rank each city according to the factors most likely to impact upon startups, such as cost, quality of life and ease of starting a new business*,  PeoplePerHour created a metric to provide a definitive Index ranking the 25 cities.

California cities dominate the second half of the top ten, with San Diego (6th) and LA (9th) making an appearance.

And where should budding entrepreneurs avoid? At the bottom of the list is the Italian city of Rome marred by the high cost of living and low scores for ease of starting a business there. Tokyo comes in at 23rd and Paris in 24th position.

Xenios Thrasyvoulou, founder and CEO of PeoplePerHour, comments: ‘It’s fantastic to see that despite the worries over Brexit and the continuing fallout from the GEC, Britain has managed get two cities featured in the top fifteen rankings.

‘The fact that Manchester is the third best place in the world for new startups, beating the likes of New York, Sydney and London is phenomenal, and bodes really well for the future of the so-called “Northern Powerhouse”.

‘Britain has always been a leader when it comes to business and innovation. It’s really encouraging to see that despite the difficulties of recent years, that remains unchanged.’

Rank City Score
1 Vancouver 91
2 Berlin 93
3 Manchester 103
4 Lisbon 106
5 Stockholm 107
6 San Diego 110
7 Bangkok 110
8 Melbourne 113
9 LA 121
10 Bangalore 129
11 Kuala Lumpur 131
12 Singapore 133
13 Istanbul 136
14 london 140
15 Sydney 140
16 Tel Aviv 141
17 Amsterdam 145
18 Miami 146
19 Athens 153
20 Moscow 156
21 San Francisco 157
22 NYC 168
23 Tokyo 176
24 Paris 187
25 Rome 192

Don’t forget to take our fun Startup City Index quiz on Survey Monkey! We think you’ll be surprised when we announce the answers!

Editor’s Notes:

* Methodology

PeoplePerHour used a variety of data to rank each city according to the factors we thought would most impact startups. Where city data was not available country data was used and equal points given to each city within that country. For example, best for doing business points were given according to the World Bank Doing Business country rankings and NYC, LA Miami and San Diego were given equal points for this metric. Similarly Starting a Business was based on country wide rankings. All others were city based.

Metrics used for startups:

  • Quality of life
  • Cost of Living
  • Rent
  • Starting a business
  • Office space
  • Monthly salary
  • Best country for business

Rankings for each metric were added up to give an overall city ranking.

About PeoplePerHour

PeoplePerHour is the UK’s leading freelance marketplace, driven by a mission to change the way people work and the way businesses operate. Founded by Xenios Thrasyvoulou – the longest-serving CEO in the freelance marketplace space – PeoplePerHour believes that the freelance economy can fundamentally disrupt the way companies, large and small, work and how they think about their Human Resource function. PeoplePerHour was founded in 2007 and has 100,000 active users in 188 countries and counting. £84 million has been paid out to freelancers on the platform in the last ten years.

Kelly is PeoplePerHour marketing expert. She has a wealth of experience in digital and social media marketing. As a freelancer, she has been committed in helping small businesses grow by offering them agile and result-driven marketing services.
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Jordy Ayame
Jordy Ayame
26 Jul 2017

Please insert Oslo in the list of Digital Nomad City Index

Mominul Islam Bhuiyan
Mominul Islam Bhuiyan
28 Jul 2017

I want to work and I want my account and I forget my pass work

Reply to  Mominul Islam Bhuiyan
29 Jul 2017

Hi Mominul, please email us at for assistance. Thank you so much and have a lovely weekend!

Tim Neale
Tim Neale
11 Aug 2017

What is the GEC?

Humayun T. Rizvi
Humayun T. Rizvi
11 Aug 2017

Kelly, I don’t know why you people at PPH wasted so much time and effort in doing the research for “Digital Nomad City Index” (I had read it positively when this research was first published by PPH) when “Startup City Index” is of far more usefulness and value in deciding on an international city to start a business in. Many thanks and kudos to the people who did the research for it! Thanks again. Too, your News Pick article from the Guardian “Too much experience is a good thing: the rise of the midlife entrepreneur” was nice, insightful, and tremendously… Read more »

Anthony Tornambe
Anthony Tornambe
19 Aug 2017

PPH is really doing great to achieve the top in freelance market.

Mazen Anan
Mazen Anan
05 Dec 2018

Hello ,
very useful research,
i wonder why Dubai was not part of the list ,
although i experienced (my self) a very easy access to business start over there,
and the prices are surely way less than UK cost of living.

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