Best Cities for Launching an Online Business

A new study has revealed how much you need to save around the world, whether you’ve been laid off or want to quit your job, to start a web-based venture

Quebec, Canada is the best city if you want to quit your job for launching an online business, requiring an individual to save £14,380, the equivalent of 4.6 months salary. If you’re looking for more reasons on why Quebec is a great city to move to, be sure to check out Lac-Superieur.

17 cities across Canada, France, Belgium, Italy, Norway, Finland and Switzerland in the index offer sufficient unemployment benefits so that if an individual was laid off from their job, they could launch an online business without any savings.

Smaller cities such as Detroit, Sheffield, Marseille and Leipzig are better for starting an online business than capitals New York, London, Paris and Berlin.

An aspiring entrepreneur must save £15,348 in Sheffield, United Kingdom if they want to quit their job and start a business, an equivalent of 5.2 months of salary compared to 4.5 months if they can claim unemployment benefits.

The table below reveals a sample of the results for the 13 UK cities featured in the index:



Months of Salary Required to Save to Start Online Business

Best City To Start an Online Business (Score)

Cost of Venture & Living Expenses

WITHOUT Unemployment Benefits WITH Unemployment Benefits
1 Sheffield 5.2 4.5 9.0 £15,348
2 Nottingham 5.4 4.6 9.0 £15,768
3 Leicester 5.4 4.6 9.0 £15,816
4 Glasgow 5.5 4.7 9.0 £16,104
5 Liverpool 5.5 4.8 8.9 £16,200
6 Leeds 5.8 5.0 8.9 £16,848
7 Cardiff 5.8 5.0 8.9 £16,884
8 Birmingham 6.0 5.2 8.8 £17,484
9 Manchester 6.2 5.4 8.8 £18,084
10 Edinburgh 6.3 5.5 8.7 £18,468
11 Bristol 6.6 5.8 8.7 £19,272
12 Newcastle 6.7 5.9 8.6 £19,560
13 London 10.4 9.6 7.7 £30,384

Globally, the UK comes out on top for best online venture infrastructure, with Sheffield, Nottingham and Leicester boasting the joint highest score. In addition, the index shows that online shopping is most popular in the UK, and is also the least expensive nation to register a new business, at £12.

Canada is the best country for quitting your job and starting your own online business in terms of months salary required, with Quebec, Winnipeg and Montreal taking the top three spots respectively. It is also possible to start a business solely on unemployment benefits in these three Canadian cities, in addition to Calgary.

Budapest, Hungary is the worst country for starting your own online business without claiming unemployment benefits, requiring 23.6 months of salary. It is also the most expensive to register a new business at £2,757, while offering the lowest average monthly wage in the index, at £785 per month.

New York City, USA is one of the worst cities for starting your own business, requiring almost a year’s worth of salary in order to quit your job, with the highest average monthly living costs in the index, at £3,899.

The United States has the best access to financing, while Portugal, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands all have underdeveloped infrastructures when it comes to applying for business loans.

Switzerland is the most expensive country to set up a venture, at £17,553. Whereas many countries do not require a new company to have any capital, Switzerland requires that new business owners have a minimum of £15,717 to start a venture. However, Switzerland also offers the highest average monthly wages, at £5,685 per month.

Switzerland offers the highest unemployment benefits over a 12 month period, at £50,346. This is compared to Hungary which offers £1,069 over 12 months.

Monthly healthcare costs are highest in Oklahoma City, USA at £558, compared to in the three Czech cities, Ostrava, Brno and Prague analysed in the study where it costs £15 per month.

3 months is the lowest entitlement to unemployed benefits in Budapest, Hungary and Floridian cities Orlando, Miami, Jacksonville and Tampa.

Portugal has the highest unemployment benefits as a percentage of the average wage at 75%, compared to the UK which is 13.6%.

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