Sherif Youssef

Leeds University Business School

The Future of Business Start-ups in Leeds City Region

PGR Placement


The result of the Brexit referendum has cast a long shadow on various regional inequalities within the United Kingdom. As a result, economic polices and the future of globalisation have been the centre of debate for over a year now. Northern cities face pressing economic and societal challenges and, as a response, the government launched the so-called ‘Northern Powerhouse’ in 2015, promising to channel the necessary investment into key areas in the North such as infrastructure, healthcare, and energy. However, after two-years, these substantial issues remain unresolved. Recently, the UK government published its Industrial Strategy Green Paper to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth in different geographic areas within the UK.

The merits of this project are that it sets out to identify and explain how the UK government can support early stage entrepreneurs who can ultimately become important actors in key strategic areas, such as in the realm of healthcare, education and cyber security within the city region, and seeks ways of achieving sufficient growth and scaling for a desirable impact on future economic growth with the aim of creating an evidence-based case to instigate the innovation agenda within the region.

This will be examined via  pioneering empirical analysis using statistical secondary data on start-ups’ growth rates supported by qualitative interviews with key actors such as early stage entrepreneurs working in different sectors, policymakers and private investors.