People Coffee Tea Meeting

7 reasons you should start up your business in Durham

So you’ve made the decision to start your own business?

You have your idea – you may even have your business plan finalised or your very first customer lined up. But, importantly, where is your business going to call home?

Naturally, we are biased – we love our city and the area is thriving. But don’t just take our word for it; here are 7 great reasons you should start your business here in Durham.

Business Support

Starting a business on your own, or even with a small team, can be hard work. But Durham has your back.

First of all, you have access to a whole host of fantastic resources, such as our friends at Business Durham or Durham County Council. You can also access regional resources like the North East Growth Hub, who can support you with specific advice and guidance you’ll need to get your business off the ground.

For a full list of resources you can tap into in Durham, jump over to our guide to the 23 resources every business in Durham should be taking advantage of.

Financial Support

Starting your own business can be a financial strain, so sourcing the right finance is important.

Set up shop in Durham and there’s a wide range of funding you can tap into at various stages of your business through Finance Durham.

Networking community

Durham also has a thriving networking community, with regular events held across the county. Our friends at Business Durham host a full list here but include Durham Business Club and Network B2B.

Even if you don’t take advantage of the formal business support in the region, networking with like-minded entrepreneurs and business leaders can not only inspire innovation but can also quite simply keep you sane. You’ve probably all experienced some of the same frustrating aspects of running a business, and being able to share will lift a weight off your shoulders and could help you break through a plateau


If you’re in need of extra level support, new businesses in Durham also have access to our incubator programme. On this 6-month crash course you’re up-skilled, supported and networked with a range of course leaders, successful entrepreneurs and local business leaders.

DCI’s aim is to get your business thriving, so if you don’t want to “go it alone”, this could be an excellent opportunity for you. If you’re interested, you can apply here.

Support from the local college and university

If you’re confident with the idea of running a business but need an extra pair of hands to support you, Durham University and New College Durham have a range of graduate programmes you can tap into – and who wouldn’t want Durham-quality support!

Students and graduates are brimming with ideas, a fresh pair of eyes and eagerness to get into the world of business, making them such a great resource to have access to.

This option doesn’t just help your business either: it also gives the student an insight into what it’s like to start and run your own business.Who knows, you might even inspire them to bring their own entrepreneurial vision to life in the not-too-distant future.

Durham business and connectivity

Not only do you have access to excellent resources in Durham, the city is also well connected to the rest of the region and further afield. With both national bus and rail links within the city and the A1 and A19 motorways on the doorstep, there are also two airports within easy reach. So no matter where your business deals take you, you’ll get there easy breezy.

Durham business is also thriving – rarely a day goes by without a success story in the local press regarding a business expanding or signing a big client. You might never need to leave the city given all the business opportunities and contacts to tap into inthe area.

Work/life balance

Last but not least, anyone who has visited Durham will know just how beautiful it is. Between the coast, dales, vales and the city, Durham offers a rare opportunity to live the city life while also enjoying the country life.

Heavy day in the office? A short drive will take you to the east coast, which is guaranteed to blow away the cobwebs!

Been sitting at a computer for days straight? Jump into the car and trek through one of our many forests or parks to get your blood pumping again!

Add to that the lower-than-average cost of living in the North East and we’re struggling to see how you can resist…


Overall, there has never been a better time to start your business in Durham. We hope to see you thriving here very soon.

The next application deadline is Friday 6th May 2022

apply now