Thousands of garages are estimated to be lying empty in London alone. My report, From Lock Up to Start Up has identified 3,275 empty garages owned between just ten housing associations across the Capital. Converting some of these empty garages into basic standard, affordable studios, workshops and commercial space could provide the much needed affordable space that London's start-ups and micro businesses so desperately need.
London is known worldwide for it's fashion names, from Alexander McQueen to Kate Moss to Isabella Blow, we have some of the top dogs in the business, but there are a few new members, bringing something a little bit different to the fashion scene and well they are doing nothing but expanding their empires fast.
What a long way we have come. I can remember when we administered the first £1million. It seemed like a huge milestone. It seems like only yesterday we had provided loans to 5,000 businesses and now we have passed the 10,000th milestone. We should be very proud of what we have achieved, but there is still a long way to go...
Realising the entrepreneur within could be the act of turning your passion or hobby into a business, spotting a gap in the market and fund-raising to fill it, or coming up with a new way of working or product line for a company in which you're an employee. The entrepreneurial instinct, I believe, is in everyone - the only thing that differs is what you decide to do with it.
While working as a consultant in London a few years ago, I remember it as a "suit city" like New York. However, over the past two years, a lot of investment has been committed to change this - as evidenced by the Sirius Programme. This shows that the British government is taking this movement sirius-ly and will support its growth over the coming years.
In an age when the pitch-stage governs the start of most businesses, how can entrepreneurs make sure their ideas are quickly and clearly communicated? Start-ups need to attract new visitors to their website but, rather than encouraging people to simply purchase a product, they also need to engage with prospective investors.
Only 10% of the companies in Tech City are financial services focussed. That doesn't sound like enough to me given the London's status as a financial centre. It raises the question as to whether the Government should be focusing on financial technology start-ups and working out how to create an environment in which these companies can thrive.