If you're stepping into business today, you may have a whole plethora of technological tools at your fingertips, but a lack of affordable physical space is surely the key barrier to success. So what's being done to give young entrepreneurs that all-important leg-up?
30 years ago, the space that you'd consider starting a business in was invariably a physical space - a shop, warehouse or office. In that sense, the physicality of enterprise was one-dimensional and therefore so was its aesthetic. There was a lot of space available and at relatively cheap cost, but nowadays the spaces you chose to populate as a new business are wide-ranging in type and expense. Dot-coms continue to flourish today, leaving emptying high streets in their wake. But enterprise always needs physical space too; space to breathe and grow.
Legacy Trust UK is committed to supporting young people across the UK in developing and sustaining their own ideas across the creative industries, enterprise and sport. Somewhereto_ is a Legacy Trust funded project that helps young people unlock great spaces for free in order to develop their projects. Since 2010, somewhereto_ has unlocked 320 thousand square feet across the UK, engaging over 4000 young people.
Business was once about the products you sold, whereas now service and brand loyalty are knitted into those products and the way that we see ourselves living and working with them. However, with such little space available, entrepreneurs have to build a name for themselves online, and so we know less and less of the people behind the brands, products and ideas.
In order for our economy to grow, we need to re-engage with enterprise, and to do that we need to allow it space to engage with us. How can young people starting out on their own get into a great space and rub shoulders with people who have been where they are and understand the challenges they face?
On Wednesday 26th September, somewhereto_ hosted a speed-matching event in an iconic London venue, where promising young entrepreneurs had the chance to pitch their business idea to great space holders across London. The event, spaced_, brought like-minded people together and offered London's brightest creative young business minds the chance of a lifetime - the opportunity to impress themselves upon people who really can give their ideas the space they need to breathe and to grow.