Message for the Mayor
7 November 2016 - Impact Hub

Message for the Mayor

Earlier in October, Capital Enterprise met with the Deputy Mayor for Business Rajesh Agrawal. Capital Enterprise is a not-for-profit membership organisation for those who nurture, advise, mentor, accommodate and invest in entrepreneurs in London.

The Deputy Mayor was very supportive of Capital Enterprise’s work and keen to engage where it contributes to the Mayor’s stated ambition of being the ‘most business-friendly mayor yet’.

Affordable and Accessible Space for start-ups and SMEs

  • We would like mandatory business rate relief for not-for-profit affordable workspace providers and support to make the business rates revaluation manageable for our members and the SMES and entrepreneurs they support.
  • We would like support to deliver Co Work Plus – a member-led proposal to super-charge affordable workspace facilities across the capital with embedded business growth and leadership. A substantial amount of private sector commitment has been established. Capital Enterprise is seeking support from the Mayor to help co-finance or raise sponsorship for this initiative.
  • London needs new policies to bring affordable workspace closer to equal terms with affordable housing within the London Plan and Opportunity Area Frameworks.
  • We would like to see continuation of the GLA’s Open Workspace Providers Group to continue to play its vital role championing the work of London’s Open Workspaces including Incubators, Accelerators and Co-working, Artist, and Maker Spaces across London.

Entrepreneurship for all  

  • Despite the efforts of some of our members including Prince’s Trust and bathtub2boardroom, there is very little tailored support within London for people who face significant barriers to entrepreneurship.
  • Both publicly funded programmes like Start-up Loans and private sector driven programmes like accelerators are struggling to support Londoners from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • We believe that an element of London’s skills budget should be set aside for developing entrepreneurship skills and helping SMEs to improve their productivity.
  • We call on the Mayor of London to work with us and entrepreneurial Londoners from all backgrounds to design bespoke initiatives that help more vulnerable communities to realise their ambitions by accessing the wealth of opportunities, skills, and connections which are available within our networks.

Finance for entrepreneurship start-ups and scale-ups

  • Capital Enterprise would like to build upon the success of the London Co-Investment Fund to develop an innovative financial instrument for SMEs.
  • London has a significant but small and uncoordinated early stage finance community. This could become sustained and large scale if nurtured and leveraged through initiatives such as LCIF, which grow the fledgling existing market through co-investment and coordination. This is starting to build the critical mass of deals and money that will be necessary to deliver something self sustaining and akin to the USA.
  • We call upon the Mayor of London to work with Capital Enterprise to develop a new way of thinking around access to finance to ensure that it is accessible and suitable for all entrepreneurs – from high growth tech start ups looking to scale rapidly to non tech companies creating much needed jobs across the capital.
About Capital Enterprise
Capital Enterprise is a not-for-profit membership organisation for those who nurture, advise, mentor, accommodate and invest in entrepreneurs in London. Become a member here.