Article written by Instant Offices
The capital has slipped down Instant Offices’ rankings as one of the UK’s most entrepreneurial cities, but there are still areas which are full of innovators.
Earlier this year, we published a report on the Most Entrepreneurial City in the UK with Brighton, Manchester and Nottingham taking the lead for 2017. With proportionately slower growth than other UK cities, London’s population to startup ratio ranked just 12th on our Index. However, there has been a growth of key markets in the outer fringes of London and many parts of the capital are still consistently in demand by entrepreneurs.
To find out more, Instant Offices dived into more granular data around startup activity within various London postcodes to discover which areas are bursting at the seams with an entrepreneurial spirit.
By analysing a year’s worth of Companies House data and comparing the population ratio of each London postcode against the number of new businesses launched there between 2016 and 2017, we set out to discover which ones show the most growth and ranked them using our ‘Entrepreneurial Index’.
Please note: EC and WC postcodes include primary commercial / non-residential areas which account for higher ratios in rankings.
London’s Startup Scene
UK’s entrepreneurial economy eco-system is regularly hailed as one of the best in Europe for startups. This is reflected in the demand for space in the city, with the demand for flexible office space growing by 16% in the last year alone.
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W1 Leads the Way
Ranking 1st with an Entrepreneurial Index of 35%, the West End’s high population to startup ratio in 2017 saw an impressive 11,102 businesses being launched within the postcode between 2016 and 2017.
Boasting some of the most prized addresses in the UK and home to notable brands in the fashion, creative, legal and financial sectors, vibrant West End is one of London’s most consistent key office markets for business activity and has seen double-digit increases in occupier enquiries for space.
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Growth in what might be considered ‘secondary locations’ in the fringe and outer fringe of London are being driven by startups seeking more competitive workstation rates in a fast-growing market. As a result, demand for office space in exclusive Mayfair, Soho, Bayswater and Hyde Park continues to rise, and in 2016, workstation costs had risen by twice the rate of inflation.
“From Notting Hill and Paddington to Hyde Park and Soho, London’s W1 postcode district boasts some of the most desirable addresses for business in the capital and demand is high despite rising desk costs in certain areas. We’ve also seen a huge spike in demand in outer west London and overall occupier interest for office space within this area is consistently high. A large proportion of this demand is coming from 1 to 2 desk requirements, i.e. those nascent companies who need a space at the start of their journey. They want to be close to the action and be able to take meetings in one of the wealthiest parts of the capital.” – John Williams, Head of Marketing at Instant Offices
West & North London: Most Entrepreneurial Overall
With almost 50 000 businesses launched across West and North London combined in the last year (19, 894 and 30, 004 respectively), these two postcode regions take the top spot when it comes to entrepreneurship.
North London’s large number of micro-businesses and early-stage entrepreneurs make it a hotspot for business-owners looking for more affordable space. With its efficient transport system and proximity to the capital, West London offers new businesses a home alongside industry titans with access to wide talent pools and an impressive number of local amenities.
In 2016, news reports cited Hackney and Camden as two of the most popular areas for startups in London, with rising costs of rent in the capital encouraging entrepreneurs to join these rapidly growing hubs.
“We saw enquiries for flexible office space increase by 8% in North London last year and, as a result, workstation rates increased by more than 20% due to high demand. Development in the area is a major contributor to certain boroughs in N1 emerging as highly sought-after business centres, attracting fast-growing startups and some large multi-national brands.” – John Williams, Head of Marketing at Instant Offices