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Over the last five years, London has become an epicenter for emerging startups and entrepreneurs. the number of digital businesses in London’s

Tech City has soared from a tiny 250 to now over 3,000 and counting. There are currently more than 350,000 Londoners employed in a digital business and sources claim that there are still thousands of positions waiting to be filled. And there are no signs of seeing this trend stopping any time soon. Yet, it’s not all college grads and millennials flocking to the digital startup scene though, as some might expect. Even veteran staff are making the move over from corporate positions to joining a startup team. As many banks in London have shrunk in the wake of the financial crisis, there are many former investment bankers and information technology specialists leaving their well­paid corporate jobs for the growing tech community; using their knowledge of complex financial markets and connections within the banking world to begin new companies.

Entrepreneurship has now become a badge of honour in Britain, with risk­taking being celebrated rather than feared. What has changed in Britain over the past five years to help spawn this trend? And why has London become the central appeal towards startups and the startup culture?

While there are plenty of reasons, one of the main reasons has to do with a slight shift in culture. Previously, job seekers aimed to find a secure job that paid well and had room for many promotions. Once employed with a company, one used to expect to stay with the company for at least ten or more years. This was a smart and well­respected move by many, and those who didn’t follow this path were often seen as irresponsible.

However, the rise of high profile tech startups have served as inspiration to a large generation of job seekers, making startups and tech a hot, fast­moving sector that many are dying to get into. Today, job seekers are now willing to forgo high salaries in order to have at learning something meaningful. The current workforce now looks beyond just a quick pay raise, and desires something that will be more beneficial later in life. Creating or working for a startup is now seen as a way to save the day, and potentially a way to create an intense adventure with a lucrative return. After seeing the quick rise of fame with tech startups like Facebook, AirBnb, and Uber – who wouldn’t want to, for at least a while, be a part of the same scene?

Additionally, conditions are also ripe for the rise of startups, both on the technological and political level in London. Startups are now being viewed as the innovative lifeblood powering Britain’s economic recovery. Seed enterprise investment schemes (SEIS), the British Business Bank, R&D tax breaks and government startup loans all add up to one big picture. On top of that, the UK is offering a plethora of ways to fill its current digital skills shortage, from free online programmes, to after­school coding clubs, to even improving computing A­levels as a way of fostering a future workforce of digitally savvy problem­solvers.

And lastly, London has become a thriving hub for startups and entrepreneurs because – it’s London. Every conceivable type of industry already exists in the city, along with an incredibly international and diverse population. Developing services and products, such as co­working facilities, are popping up across the city, making the possibility of creating or working for a lean startup even easier than before. Add to this an unstoppable mix of tech innovation and it’s no wonder London has become the perfect platform for a booming startup craze.

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