The digital sector is growing faster than London’s economy as a whole and will continue to for the next decade or so, according to research.
Data from global forecaster Oxford Economics shows that the sector's grown by 46% since the launch of the Tech City programme in Shoreditch, with nearly 200,000 people employed.
Shoreditch has been highlighted by the media as being the place to go to if you want to grow your digital business or work in the sector and develop your skills generally. With Google Campus based close by, the area's a thriving hub for start-ups.
However, Tech City's not the only area of London that digital start-ups are looking towards. Impact Hub Brixton was launched just over a year ago and is going from strength to strength.
A recent tech masterclass and networking evening saw a panel of senior leaders from the BBC, The Telegraph and Barclays Corporate talk about developing digital skills and getting funding for businesses.
The aim of the hub is to shape Lambeth as a community of resources and support for innovators, allowing those who join to have access to more than 11,000 entrepreneurs across the globe.
There’s a creative co-working space, a learning programme and a great, upbeat team to help those involved realise their potential and get connected.
The community is diverse and consists of start-ups, SMEs, freelancers and social entrepreneurs. There are currently 120 members and the atmosphere is open and collaborative, with everyone assisting each other to create their best work.
The skills of the team are varied, with backgrounds from law to web design to pitching to accounting. They work across different sectors, from tech and web development to education and music.
On the move
The pilot project’s been supported by the local council for two years but with the redevelopment of Brixton Town Hall moving ever-closer Impact Hub Brixton will relocate to a new temporary development called Pop Brixton on Pope’s Road this summer.
Why not get involved if you're interested in helping out or developing your business? At Pop Brixton you'll reap the benefits of:
- a small business library
- a collaborative space to work and brainstorm
- a mini kitchen with drinks and snacks
- an expressive workplace that has art on the walls and grass on the floor.
Brixton isn't the only Impact Hub. It's part of a larger global community spanning 54 countries on six continents, from Johannesburg to Amsterdam to San Francisco. Across the world there's already 7,000 members! It's all part of the new way of living and working: open, cross-continental, inclusive and innovative. It's a very local experience, yet so very international.
Brixton is carving out a role as helping to lead the way when it comes to getting people up to scratch with digital skills.
Research has shown that the digital skills gap has held back half of UK firms and that 72% of large firms have identified skills gaps in their workplace. The hub also gives budding entrepreneurs a place to share their thoughts and tap into the creative mindsets and skills of others.
There's a new kid in town to rival Tech City and Brixton's all the better for it. As a diverse, vibrant and exciting place to live and work, the opportunity's there for those who want to take it.