Is big business doing enough to support entrepreneurs?

Barclays Manchester Escalator

The world is changing rapidly and the challenges that the global economy faces in the next 10–20 years are profound. Since the digital revolution began in the later part of the 20th century, the UK employment landscape in the UK has radically altered. More and more employers are developing and deploying technology, and employing fewer people at the same time as population growth soars.

Enterprise is a very big term. You open a fish and chip shop and suddenly you’re an entrepreneur

The volume of newly registered businesses in the UK is also growing and is often heralded as a sign of flourishing British entrepreneurialism.

Entrepreneurial hubs, pockets of young start-up businesses, are beginning to flourish in the UK beyond London and the South East – with a Northern corridor running between Liverpool and York, in particular, accounting for an increasing share of exciting, British start-ups.

In late 2014, Barclays partnered with Central Working to open a new space in Manchester. The Manchester Escalator is the second partnership between Barclays and Central Working, and follows the success of the London Escalator in Whitechapel.

Based on Deansgate in the heart of the city, the Manchester Escalator aims to inspire and nurture start-ups and has been setup as a collaborative space for professionals from the finance, technology, social enterprise, education, healthcare and gaming industries.

Barclays Manchester Escalator sign

The hub offers entrepreneurs in the North West access to a modern workplace where they can meet clients, collaborate with peers and access skills-based workshops and training. It has been part-funded by the Barclays Social Innovation Facility (SIF), which supports market-based solutions that contribute to sustainable economic growth and societal progress.

Tom New, an entrepreneur who attended Manchester University and joined a panel discussion at the opening of the Manchester Escalator, echoed the thoughts of many across the UK when he commented on the definition of an entrepreneur: “Enterprise is a very big term. You open a fish and chip shop and suddenly you’re an entrepreneur.”

Entrepreneurship will be integral to driving future economic growth and prosperity. And large organisations, together with policy makers and academia, can make a huge difference in creating the right conditions for entrepreneurs to succeed. Working together, British business can make a difference.

Read more about Barclays’ work to support entrepreneurs.


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