StartUp Britain embarks on new chapter

The Centre for Entrepreneurs think tank is to take on the running of national enterprise campaign StartUp Britain when the founders step down after three years of activity next month.

The official handover will take place on Thursday March 27, with an event celebrating the campaign’s achievements to date and looking ahead to future initiatives.

Chairman of The Centre for Entrepreneurs and StartUp Britain, Luke Johnson said:
“StartUp Britain has pioneered a range of innovative initiatives to boost public awareness of entrepreneurship. As the founders step away, the Centre for Entrepreneurs provides the natural home for the campaign to live on and prosper.”

StartUp Britain was launched in March 2011 by a group of entrepreneurs who wanted to boost Britain’s enterprise culture and start-up rate. Since it set out on that journey, UK start-up rates have hit record highs – increasing from 440,600 at the end of 2011 to a record-breaking 526,446 two years later in 2013.

During those three years, the campaign launched a number of pioneering initiatives including:

  • A nationwide bus tour taking the start-up message to more than 60 towns and cities and more than 25,000 aspiring entrepreneurs
  • Week-long free events that attracted Britain’s top self-starters to share their early experiences including Finance Week, Tech Week, Marketing Week, run in conjunction with the MAA, as well as one-day events like StartUp Food, StartUp Fashion and StartUp Entertainment. Over three years these events saw more than 3,250 attendees
  • It also encouraged corporates to open their doors to fledgling businesses via its PitchUp initiative which gave start-ups the chance to pitch their products to leading high street brands like John Lewis and Sainsbury’s. Three pitching events have resulted in seven new brands stocked in high street retailers, with more in the pipeline
  • Its retail arm PopUp Britain, launched the high street careers of more than 350 of Britain’s future high street entrepreneurs via 12 empty shops and is set to continue that pioneering work separately with the Association of Town & City Management (ATCM) whilst still operating as a not-for-profit organisation to help new retailers.

It is upon these successes and after three years of hard work that the founders have decided to step down and see a new chapter for the campaign. Founders are Emma Jones, founder of small business network Enterprise Nation; Oli Barrett, co-founder of Cospa, a cross-sector partnership group with a social mission; Michael Hayman, co-founder of entrepreneurial campaigning firm Seven Hills; Duncan Cheatle, founder of the Supper Club and the enterprising Prelude Group; and Rajeeb Dey, founder of Enternships – the innovative recruitment firm for start-ups and fast-growing businesses.

StartUp Britain co-founder and campaign director, Emma Jones said:
“We set out to change the British enterprise culture by letting people know that entrepreneurship is not just for the few – it’s for the many.  

“The new business figures we published last month speak for themselves.  We are now seeing record numbers of people starting businesses in Britain – and with improving economic conditions, these fledgling firms are set to play a big role in the recovery.

“The Centre for Entrepreneurs is an excellent fit to continue the campaign’s work as it seeks to research and explain the positive impact that entrepreneurship has upon the British economy.”

The recently-launched Centre for Entrepreneurs think tank will take on and build on the campaign’s successes.

Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurs, Matt Smith said:
“By bringing StartUp Britain into the Centre for Entrepreneurs it will be able to deliver public awareness campaigns and resources directly informed by the Centre’s research and thought-leadership, while also providing an opportunity for the tens of thousands of entrepreneurs engaged in the campaign to contribute to the Centre’s wider policy activities.

The retail arm of StartUp Britain, PopUp Britain, has been successfully acquired by ATCM (Association of Town & City Management)  ATCM CEO Martin Blackwell said:
“PopUp Britain is a stand-out initiative which seeks to support the UK’s future high street entrepreneurs.  The ATCM seeks to build on its success to take its important work to more people in more high streets in more towns across the UK.”