22. Central Working
The membership-based club offering start-up entrepreneurs a ‘collaborative home from home’
Founders: James Layfield and Steve Pette
Founded: May 2011
James Layfield and Steve Pette’s membership-based club for start-ups, which provides the infrastructure, support and systems entrepreneurs need when starting a business, has seen impressive growth since making our 2012 list. Named ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ in 2012, having set up five successful businesses, Layfield knows what it takes to start and grow a business and is determined to ensure Central Working offers so much more than just desk space, a huge part of its appeal. It opened its third ‘hub’ in Shoreditch six months ago –set to cater for 22,000 digital businesses over the next five years – and more locations across the capital are planned. The company’s financial growth has been equally impressive, posting revenues of £850,000 in 2012 with £3m turnover predicted for the end of this year, leading to Central Working’s recent listing on the prestigious Accelerate 250 index of Britain’s fastest-growing companies. With London becoming an increasingly attractive location for young, experimental tech businesses, Central Working is perfectly placed to offer them the support they need.