Monday 23 July 2012

Pop-up Britain, an answer for UK High Streets?

                                                                                         pic: Business Matters Magazine

StartUp Britain has today opened the first of its revolutionary PopUp Britain shops, offering start-up businesses a unique low-cost opportunity to experience life on the high street.

This unprecedented scheme will help to revive the UK’s flagging high street by making use of co-funded empty shops. StartUpBritain’s first PopUp, opposite Richmond station, will provide retail space for six start-up businesses. The store will get backing from the scheme's sponsors: John Lewis will fit-out the shop, the businesses will be insured by AXA. Each business will also get a Dell laptop, access to PayPal's online internet payment system and a copy of Intuit's Quickbooks accounting software.

StartUp Britain was founded 15 months ago by a group of eight entrepreneurs to encourage small business startups, winning support from government. However they rely for funding from the private sector via sponsorship.

A great idea in unprecedented times, but as David Prosser in the
Independent notes, ‘if the state is going to leave it to volunteers to deliver its stated desire of boosting entrepreneurialism, it must at least have the decency to get out of the way. If local authorities play ball, and the scheme gets a fair wind from other public-sector bodies, StartUp High Street is an idea which might just make a real difference. For example, local authorities will need to be supportive about allowing these retailers to trade — waiving planning permission restrictions, say’.

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