Shell to open business hubs on petrol forecourts

New initiative set to fuel start-up growth

British entrepreneurs may soon be able to switch off their car engines and start up a business, as mobile business lounges are set to appear on petrol forecourts across the country.

The purpose-built hubs, provided by oil giant Shell in tandem with serviced office group Regus,  will offer speedy internet connections, printing and photocopying machines and even courier delivery services – so technically an entrepreneur could start a business from one of the portals.

The first business lounge has already opened at a Shell station near Paris, and the initiative could soon be rolled out across the company’s UK branch network.

Istvan Kapitany, vice-president of retail in Europe for Shell, said: “This alliance allows Shell and Regus, as market leaders in their respective fields, to come together to better serve our customers.”

Although Regus currently manages 1,200 offices in 550 cities, the latest move is expected to expand the firm’s reach across the European transport network. It is also hoped to promote the benefits of cost-cutting mobile working to big businesses. 

Mark Dixon, founder and chief executive of Regus, added: “Though they communicate and work using smartphones, tablets and laptops, [mobile workers] miss access to a professional place to work, meet or think where there is easy access to state-of-the-art business facilities.

“By opening Regus business lounges at motorway stations, Shell and Regus are bringing vibrant business hubs right to the roadside.”

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