Aged 18 to 30, living in Lambeth with plans to be your own boss? If you have a promising business idea but need support to push it forward, the new Hatch enterprise incubator could help you turn your dream venture into a reality.
Budding entrepreneurs are being invited to Hatch’s launch event on Thursday 4th September (6.30-8.30 pm) at Impact Hub Brixton in Lambeth Town Hall. This is an opportunity to find out how Hatch could support your enterprising ideas, as well as hear from established entrepreneurs as they share their own start-up experiences.
The launch and networking evening will see the incubator, based on Coldharbour Lane, formally open its call for applications for its second cohort of Lambeth entrepreneurs. This follows their pilot group, known as the Y-Project, who finished the first programme pitching for investment at a Dragon’s Den style event in July.
Hatch is part of One Planet Ventures, a social enterprise specifically supporting entrepreneurs across the borough looking to start-up. The support is timely considering recent research showing that young people are after increased flexibility in their working lives. According to a survey arranged by Nectar Business Small Business Awards, 80 per cent of 16 – 30 year olds questioned wanted to start their own business, with 51 per cent confident they would do so in the next five years.
While the ideas are out there – nowhere more so than in entrepreneurial Lambeth – studies have shown that businesses launched with the support of an incubator are much more likely to succeed. It’s estimated that nationally there were around half a million start-ups last year, just over a quarter of these based in Greater London. Figures vary, but a general consensus seems to be that only 20 per cent of these will make it past the first 18 months, with half failing within the first three years.
However, the official body of UK Business Incubators (UKBI) suggests 87 per cent of start-ups that graduate from an incubator programme are still live after five years, with early mentoring and support recognised as game-changers.
Dirk Bischof, CEO of One Planet Ventures, says: “It’s no surprise that more and more 18 to 30 year olds go it alone. Youth unemployment in the UK is three times that of those over 30. Helping people build their own enterprise is our way of tackling these economic issues.
“Hatch is both a space and a programme for young entrepreneurs in Lambeth, to get the help they need starting-up. We did some pilot training and we figured out what support actually works for this age group.”
Having worked in social enterprises specifically supporting young people for over a decade, Dirk has reviewed different approaches from across Europe. He explains: “We found that the UK actually has a lot of provision for young entrepreneurs starting out, but this has to be local for it to work. There are limitations. Often ability to travel is an issue as is securing funding, so our incubator has focused on building a support network locally and working with partners such as 198 Contemporary Arts & Learning and Impact Hub Brixton is proving essential.
“We also see ourselves as a bridge between supporters coming from our corporate partners – such as Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft and EE Mobile – and our young entrepreneurs. We have amazing mentors and financial coaches ready to help our emerging enterprises here in Lambeth.”
Hatch will offer individual support and guidance dependent on the needs of each enterprise, and help with structuring business ideas. This includes a 12-week start-up programme, office space, dedicated workshops and one to one mentoring from leading business figures. Once on the incubator programme, successful applicants will examine all aspects of running a business such as accountancy, marketing and financial support and funding.
The launch event is free, but with limited space. You can sign up at: http://hatchincubator.eventbrite.co.uk. The application deadline is 22 September 2014. Hatch’s online application will also be available from 4th September on www.hatch-incubator.org (but until then you can call One Planet Ventures for more information: 0207 993 0074). Hatch’s only criteria are that applicants must be aged 18 – 30, have a business idea that needs developing, or have an emerging business that needs further support.