Free accelerator Entrepreneurial Spark opens first London hub

100 of London's "most inspiring entrepreneurs" will avail of free office space and facilities, business advice, and access to support networks

Entrepreneurial Spark, the free start-up accelerator, has opened its doors in London for the first time.

Operating from Natwest Regents House innovation centre in Angel, and supported by Dell EMC, the hub will offer 100 of the capitals “most inspiring entrepreneurs” free office space and facilities, business advice, and access to support networks.

The world’s largest free business accelerator, Entrepreneurial Spark was founded in Glasgow and has a presence in BirminghamManchester, Edinburgh, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Belfast and Ayrshire.

Coinciding with the launch, new research from NatWest’s Entrepreneurship Monitor has revealed that one third of the UK population believe that London is the best place in the country to start a new business – mainly because of its good transport links and a strong local economy.

In comparison to the rest of the UK, those living in the capital are less likely to see fear of failure as a barrier to starting a new business, as just 26% of Londoners won’t start a business because of a worry they might go bust -compared to 33% of those outside.

However, when it comes to actually testing the waters, regional entrepreneurs are much less concerned about trailing their ideas (11%) compared to those in London (16%).

The research also revealed that, of those who say that their region is a good place to start a new business, Londoners are twice as likely to attribute their region’s success to greater access to accelerator hubs than people who think the same thing about their own region – 44% in London compared to 18% elsewhere.

In general, entrepreneurial spirit appears higher in London than anywhere else in the country, with 27% of those in the capital preferring to work for themselves compared to 23% of all Britons.

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Lucy-Rose Walker, CEO of Entrepreneurial Spark, said:

“Our world class business support focuses on the mindset and behaviours of the entrepreneurial leader so we’re delighted to bring this unique brand of enablement to London.

“Our 12 other hubs which we operate with NatWest have had serious and significant economic impact right across all four nations of the UK.

“Our businesses have created over 3,000 jobs and landed over £151m in investment.

“To add London, arguably the world’s greatest business ecosystem, to our disruptive and revolutionary approach is exceptionally exciting. We can’t wait to start making a difference to these constantly inspiring entrepreneurs.”

Rajesh Agrawal, deputy mayor for business, said:

“London has long been fertile ground for entrepreneurs looking to take their exciting ideas and turn them into innovative businesses.

“The mayor and I know from experience the challenges new businesses face and are committed to doing everything we can to support start-ups and scale-ups across all industries.

“This research is further proof that London is open for investment and the best place in the world to start and grow a business.”