Startup Advice

Starting a business in London

Charlotte Harwood

We know start-ups flock to London, but do we know why?

It’s the capital city of the UK, so naturally it’s where businesses flock to when they want easy access to the very best resources around. Whether you’re a digital start-up, an independent retailer, or absolutely anything in between, London has something for you.

Business diversity

London has a global reputation for business, and with good reason. The city as a whole is like a magnet for small businesses and start-ups, and with such cultural and ethnic diversity all in one place, it really is the place where anything goes.

Different areas of London are known for different areas of business. The City of London, for instance, is renowned as the home of big businesses – particularly in the financial sector, while Shoreditch’s Old Street in the East is regarded at the tech hub of the capital, and has a high density of digital and technology start-ups in the area. Wherever you go in London, you’re sure to find others setting up their own business ventures too.

Support for start-ups and small businesses

It’ll come as no surprise that there is plenty of support on hand for small businesses and start-ups in London. Depending on which area of the city you locate your business, you could access a range of incubator and accelerator programmes all designed to help you during those early days of business.

In East London, for example, businesses can access the Digital Greenwich accelerator programme, which provides specialist business support to digital SMEs in the creative, digital or smart city sectors – all for free.

If you’re in the fintech sector, then don’t think that The City is reserved for the global brands. Level 39 in Canary Wharf is Europe’s largest technology accelerator for financial, retail and future cities companies, and has already helped a number of start-ups successfully pitch up next to the likes of Ernst & Young and Lloyds.

Getting around

Transport links in London stretch to every corner of the country and beyond, with the channel tunnel and international airports all within the city’s boundaries. Commuting to and from work is simple (if a little cramped) on the tube or bus, or, if you’re feeling brave, you can join the many lycra-clad cyclists who pedal into work each morning.

London’s transport infrastructure is set to get even better with the launch of HS2, which will connect the capital to the north in half the time.

Business broadband connections

A priority for businesses anywhere in the country is broadband, and companies in London can access broadband connection vouchers to help cover the cost of getting connected. Small to medium-sized businesses based in London can apply for a grant to help upgrade to superfast broadband, which will improve efficiency and productivity and work towards a collective goal of future-proofing businesses in London.

Get in touch

If you are looking for business broadband or phone line in London, call free on 0808 256 6968.