Starting a business in East London: What you need to know
East London has been the focal point of much of the investment into new projects in London over the past few decades. After famously hosting the Olympic Village and stadium (now home to West Ham United), more housing projects, retail and business facilities like Westfield and the Excel centre have made East London hot property for budding entrepreneurs.
For those considering London to start a business, heading east can mean more than just close proximity to the centre of the city. As long as you take care to cover yourself from legal risks and financial obligations, seek out the right support system and stay committed and focused, East London could be a perfect home for your next venture. Here’s why East London is a hotspot for the ambitious and enterprising who call it home – and why you should consider making it yours too.
It’s A Home For The ‘Makers’
East London’s tech sector is well-known, but the manufacturing industry is a major player in the region. Located between Havering and Dagenham is the famous CEME (Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence), which forms a part of the £400 million regeneration scheme being pumped into the eastern boroughs.
For new manufacturing businesses, there are a lot of risks and costs involved with running a business. Their liabilities, both financially and legally, are increased by the chance of accidents or faulty services. Anything resulting in injury of a customer or employee, for example, can lead to expensive personal injury claims, and potentially significant loss of earnings. The circumstances leading to these sorts of situations can be wide-ranging and often even preventable accidents. The same can be said for failing to meet tax obligations. In a competitive industry a big HMRC fine, or culpability for a personal injury claim, are the last things a small business needs. Cash flow is key in competitive and expensive cities like London.
Luckily, by virtue of east London’s popularity with business owners, it’s well-served by a thriving B2B industry of professional services from accounting to legal protection or insurance. If something unfortunate does happen, you’ll be spoilt for choice in East London with some of the city’s best legal and financial services to support your operations. Seeking out these services early on, sets you up for success and fewer headaches when accidents happen.
Space to work
East London’s office spaces are varied and thriving. What’s unique about the eastern boroughs is the proximity it has to London’s only airport actually situated within the city limits: London city airport. For any business with international connections, that unique feature is something few other areas can boast. Barking Enterprise Centre and Dagenham’s Business Centre are a few examples of the working spaces business can hire out for main office space, but shared and co-working offices – now highly popular for start-ups needing to save funds – are also abundant.
Bexley and Newham boast massive areas of both industrial land for new offices and communities of creatives. Newham’s Sugarhouse Studios is carving out a great reputation for being a thriving hub of creatives, rivalling the areas of central like Shoreditch, for a fraction of the rental cost.
It’s Full of Talent
A final point to make is that the east of London is not simply filled with businesses, but also boasts a big talent pool to work for them. With one of the largest populations among London’s many boroughs, it actually has one of the smaller and generally less qualified working populations, talent is easier to pay for if you’re on a shoestring budget. Barking College and the highly-rated University of Greenwich are hubs for the educated on the cusp of joining the workforce, and again, east London’s SMEs benefit from being able to acquire internships and offer them their first jobs.
Without a doubt, offices, talent, a thriving business culture and access to the best legal and financial advisors in the UK continue to make east London highly attractive to the entrepreneurs among us. You can do much worse than the affordable, yet well-established eastern boroughs, with Central London on your doorstep, and real opportunities for growth at your feet.