Could London success stories rival Google or Facebook?But it isn’t all plain sailing. US mega-firms like Google and Facebook, which were mere start-ups not so long ago, have a huge presence in London. This is good news for our city – they bring opportunities for Londoners and innovation into the heart of our economy. But where are the big London success stories to rival them? We have a thriving culture of entrepreneurship, but often ambitious young Londoners, some from more disadvantaged backgrounds, are locked out. Finding affordable space to set up a digital business is a high barrier. London does not offer the space and infrastructure to allow many of London’s potential digital entrepreneurs to get launched. In schools and colleges, not enough young people are picking up the digital skills which serve everyday life or a future business start-up.
How we build "One London"The brilliant and resourceful people at Somewhereto_ (a Big Lottery Fund project) and Founders Forum For Good have a great proposal to help young Londoners find space to set up their businesses. Today in collaboration with Google and Bloomberg Associates they are hosting an event for young people to pitch their ideas to company founders, and launching a three-month programme of support that provides this burgeoning community with free workspace and mentorship so they can get their businesses off the ground.
This is not philanthropy or 'corporate social responsibility' but a way of recognising the potential value that these would-be entrepreneurs can create. Reciprocal benefit – that is how we bring London together and build One London, where we all share in our city's success. Read more: London mayoral race is Labour’s big moment, says Tessa Jowell