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Successful cities support their local economies

Bristol is one of the most desirable places to live in in the UK. This lively city with 441.300 residents is the first British city to win the European Green Capital title in 2015.

The city convinced the panel with its transportation and energy investment plans. They also demonstrated important achievements in the field of CO2 emissions reductions.

One of the major ambitions of Bristol is to become the European leader in low carbon technologies through targeted development of the creative, digital, and low carbon sectors. The city has truly found its future in the digital industry. The number of the new digital companies increased by 65% between 2010 and 2013. Earlier this year, Bristol was recognized as the most important and fastest growing digital industry center of Great Britain outside London. Bristol is developing into a globally recognized center of innovative entrepreneurship and a hotbed for future technologies.

Most digital companies in Bristol are small businesses, founded by individuals who sought an independent professional carrier. Just as all other small companies, they face various startup difficulties. Bristol’s city administration has recognized the importance of the local environment for the successful development of local businesses, and has implemented effective measures to assist the development of their local economy.

One of the crucial projects implemented by the city in order to strengthen their growing digital industry is the Bristol SETsquared Centre. This business incubator provides coaching, mentoring, workshops, business review panels, access to professional service firms and services, access to global networks, investor readiness training, investor showcase events, office space, and other support to local start-ups.

In addition to their entrepreneurial skills, businesses need customers to operate. Here, the city of Bristol effectively leaned on its strong character and proud local identity to further promote the development of local business.

The Bristol Pound is the UK’s first local currency, the first to support electronic accounts managed by regulated financial institutions, and the first which can be used to pay some local taxes.

The concept of the Bristol Pound supports the »promotion of local consumption and local production«. The Bristol Pound can be spent only in in Bristol, ensuring that the whole community can better support local businesses. Local companies who receive Bristol Pounds from customers can only spend this money locally, which means that the companies support each other as well. The local currency also represents an excellent opportunity of local businesses’ promotion. And to the users – the members of the Bristol Pound organization, it represents an exciting way to explore the city and the offerings of local businesses.

According to the mayor of Bristol, a positive attitude and good cooperation between the city administration and citizens contributed significantly to the incredible progress of the city. After all, gaining the citizens’ support is the key for successful implementation of projects in any city.

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