BOURNEMOUTH has an opportunity to link with seven thriving cities around the world, according to the author of a study which hailed its “entrepreneurial renaissance”.

Business adviser Nick Hixson wrote a chapter about the town for a book which also studies business in Sydney, San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Bangalore, Dublin, Milan and Stockholm.

The book, Entrepreneurial Renaissance, was given a launch at Bournemouth University’s Executive Business Centre by its editor, Professor Piero Formica of Maynooth University, Ireland.

Mr Hixson turned down the opportunity to write about London for the book, preferring to interview business leaders about the emerging entrepreneurial renaissance he saw in Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch.

“We now have the opportunity of links to seven other cities around the world,” he said.

“Would it be helpful to have an agreement with another city such as the Milan-New York one?”

He also suggested finding ways for other sectors to collaborate in the way the digital sector currently does.

He laid out the factors that he said indicated an entrepreneurial renaissance.

*A “lovely physical environment”.

* A compact conurbation.

* Ability to absorb large numbers of people temporarily, reducing the risk of setting up here.

* Being far away enough from London that people settle locally rather than commute.

* Stable local government which is open to ideas and business-friendly.

* Good channels between education, business and government.

* Being "relatively” tolerant and multicultural.

* A tendency among digital businesses to collaborate more than they compete, to gain larger projects.

* In the digital sector, a lack of industry guilds, which “tend to slow innovation”.

* Instead, self-developed work networks, especially in digital.

Mr Hixson listed a series of potential challenges, including gentrification; transport; and a need for angel investors, venture capitalists and private equity.

“We have support services but we do not have a method of embedding them in early-stage start-ups and high-growth businesses,” Mr Hixson said.

He added: “People coming to the area to start up businesses need workspace, which is dealt with relatively well, but we do not link it with living space and it may be that our local definition of key workers needs amending from the national definition of teachers and nurses et cetera so that people get somewhere to live as well as somewhere to start their business for the first year or two.”