A new report published by the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership (GMLEP) has revealed how the city-region has become a global hub new tech and ecommerce businesses.
In How Greater Manchester became the land of tech unicorns and eCommerce giants, the GMLEP have outlined how the city-region has transformed over the years from an industrial city and birthplace of the Industrial Revolution into becoming a place where economic growth is driven by creativity, technology and innovation.
Ecommerce is one area of particular success for the city-region, and is home to over 3,000 online retailers and related businesses, putting Greater Manchester at the forefront of the industry in the UK. The city boasts the greatest concentration of ecommerce start-ups in the UK, as well as five homegrown ecommerce unicorns out of only 14 in the UK as a whole: The Hut Group, AO.com, AutoTrader, Boohoo and Radious Payments. Unicorns are start-up companies that are valued at more than $1 billion at their IPO.
Other Greater Manchester tech and ecommerce sector businesses featured in the report include Cheadle-based online travel company On The Beach, and Stockport-based ecommerce platform Shopblocks, which was included in the report as ‘one to watch’ for future investors.
The GMLEP report also looks ahead to consider how Greater Manchester’s strength in digital could stimulate economic growth, with a thriving digital and creative sector a key pare the city-region’s Local Industrial Strategy and vision for future prosperity.
The city-region is the largest creative, digital and technology hub outside of London, and is home to more than 19,000 businesses active in the sector, from start–ups and SMEs to global brands including Amazon, Google and Booking.com. Last year, Manchester was named the fastest-growing tech city in Europe by Tech Nation.
Matthew Moulding, CEO and Chairman, THG, said:
Manchester is a great location for our HQ because of its world class infrastructure, access to talent and global supply chains. THG is both a significant business and employer in the UK, and particularly, in the North.
“Although we are currently rapidly building out global operations, we intend to significantly accelerate our rate of investment in the region, attracting and retaining the most innovative and inventive talent from across the globe.”
Lou Cordwell, Chair of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership (GM LEP), said:
Greater Manchester’s rich history of digital innovation has provided the perfect platform for today’s tech and eCommerce success stories, attracting talent and investment and creating thousands of jobs.
“The Greater Manchester Economic Vision includes plans to further harness the opportunity that digital provides to deliver economic recovery and growth locally and on behalf of UK plc.
“Supporting training, skills and innovation within emerging sectors of the digital economy will ensure that everyone can share the benefits that digital innovation can bring, while helping the UK achieve its ambitions for international trade.”
The full report, How Greater Manchester became the land of tech unicorns and eCommerce giants, is available to read here.