What Makes London the Ideal Location for a Start-up?
London has an enormous amount to offer a new business, particularly one that’s looking to cater to international clients and to attract the very best talent that several industries have to offer. Despite a major contraction in the Gross Added Value rate, which sank to 16.8% in 2020 thanks to the impact of the coronavirus, the city is expected to bounce back to 17.2% in 2021, before stabilising at 4.5% in 2022.
Of course, projections of this kind should be treated with a degree of scepticism – it’s difficult, after all, to know exactly what the future holds. Nevertheless, London is a global powerhouse, and it’s unlikely that its attractiveness will be dented in the long-term, especially given the fact that many of its competitors have experienced the same setbacks.
So why is London so attractive to new businesses?
The economic heart of London is the financial sector. It’s in the Square Mile that many of the world’s major banks are headquartered. The financial services sector accounts for hundreds of thousands of highly skilled jobs. Canary Wharf, just a few miles down the road, is a similarly attractive proposition for new firms.
The English Language
London enjoys a considerable advantage over its counterparts on the European mainland, and that’s that the main spoken language is English. Thus, it makes a more attractive proposition for the billions of people around the world for whom English is a primary language.
London and the surrounding area are home to some of the best universities in the country. Consequently, there is a significant talent pool of highly skilled postgraduates from all over the country.
As you might expect from a city of this size, there’s no shortage of high-quality accommodation, both for residents and for visitors. Many workers in the capital elect to live outside of the city centre, and commute in daily – but for convenience, it’s difficult to beat the serviced apartments London’s city centre has to offer.
The start-up visa system provides an additional incentive for international businesses looking to locate in the UK. There are a few requirements that will need to be met if your application is to be successful. First, you’ll need to be endorsed by a higher education institution in the UK, or a qualifying business organisation. Second, you’ll need to demonstrate the value of your start-up to the market in the UK. This tends to mean establishing that there’s nothing else already out there which resembles your business.
If you’re planning to go down this route, you should be sure that you’ve left plenty of time for the process to go through. The earliest you can apply is three months before you travel – this time will allow for any unforeseen problems to be spotted and dealt with.
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