With the number of new businesses in London on the rise, and the government helping young companies with specific startup grants, there’s never been a better time to open shop in this resource-packed metropolis.
Several startup hubs are emerging across the city, particularly in technology, creative, fashion, and media. Yet with so many options, it’s difficult to know the best place to put down roots. You’ll want to consider which areas are the most nurturing to young businesses and team-building for creative groups, and in what communities you are most likely to succeed.
Looking at recent government statistics, four boroughs in London stand out as hotbeds for starting fresh: Camden, Hackney, Westminster, and Islington are the neighbourhoods with the greatest number of new businesses opening each year. Across these boroughs, WeWork’s shared offices help boost productivity and enrich collaboration. Our agile workstations cater to teams of all sizes, while all-inclusive amenities take the hassle out of moving in. Plus, flexible agreements allow you to scale at your own pace, without the pressure of long-term leases and steep up-front costs.
With this in mind, we’ve looked into the benefits of setting up shop in each of these boroughs. From government grants to private incubators, here’s what you need to know about starting a business in Camden, Hackney, and Westminster, or Islington.
Home to the iconic Camden Market, this neighbourhood supports a thriving population of artisan retailers and foodies. Amid all this activity, new businesses are blossoming, and opportunities are emerging in other markets, too. A rich creative scene is found in the alleyways off Chalk Farm Road, while Camden’s burgeoning innovation sector is making leaps in town planning, health care, and the gig economy.
In the same neighbourhood, you’ll find the LDN_LAB from Facebook in Rathbone Square. This incubator helps tech startups grow, offering guidance in design, engineering, product management, and scaling to small companies founded in the last three years. The social-media giant’s product experts are assisting around 20 startups a year—a nearly unbeatable opportunity for big thinkers in tech.
Whether you’re an artist or an app developer, WeWork’s coworking spaces in Camden are vital sites of innovation and collaboration. Our all-inclusive amenities, including front-desk assistance, free-flowing coffee, and high-speed internet, ensure daily operations are taken care of—allowing you to focus on the work that matters.
One of London’s greatest users of startup funding, Hackney is a launchpad for new business across a range of sectors. Disruptors in everything from brewing coffee to helping the homeless are hard at work here, and the local council is doing everything it can to attract startups.
Invest in Hackney, an initiative led by the Council, supports new businesses and helps entrepreneurs secure investment and understand the intricacies of building a company. And the charity HBV runs workshops and provides advice in planning and scaling enterprise in Hackney.
Here, WeWork’s coworking spaces also set businesses up for success. Events, for example, are an essential part of the WeWork experience, and our curated happy hours and information sessions connect you with collaborators—here and around the world. Discover a workspace that helps you meet and surpass your business goals at WeWork’s office spaces in Hackney.
The streets of Westminster—the same streets of Buckingham Palace and those impenetrable government buildings—might seem like an unlikely an breeding ground for startups. But the concentration of universities in the area, as well as pockets of enduring creativity including Soho and Mayfair, continue to attract young minds and fresh ideas to the area.
In 2018, the University of Westminster (Vivienne Westwood’s alma mater, after all) launched a pop-up startup festival, alongside a big push from the local council to turn the borough into something of a haven for new business. The Westminster Business Unit, from the City of Westminster, provides tailored support to startups accessing government funding. The Council has also promised to connect small and medium-size companies in Westminster to gigabit-capable broadband—and that’s where WeWork comes in.
Not only do we take care of high-speed internet for you, we also provide a variety of flexible membership options to suit businesses of all sizes. Our hot-desk options are ideal for entrepreneurs looking for space to meet investors, while our sleek private offices are perfect for young companies moving into their first office space.
Brimming with professionals who are self-employed, launching a new venture, and working in some of the most innovative enterprises in the world, inspiration is never far away in Islington. Home to “silicone roundabout,” where Apple, Amazon, and Google have all based operations, the borough continues to attract startups and disruptors—particularly in tech.
WeWork’s offices in Islington provide the space you need to turn your ideas from thought bubbles into something tangible. Brainstorming rooms are ideal for kicking off big projects, while lounge areas and smart conference rooms are perfect for meeting new partners.
Whether it’s software, search engine optimisation, or online services, starting a tech business in Islington puts you in good company—and WeWork’s coworking spaces have everything you need to succeed.