Procurement · 12 August 2016

UK’s first incubator space for migrant-led startups opens in London

Mi-Hub’s Aldgate East hot desk working space

The UK’s first startup hub dedicated to assisting migrant entrepreneurs has opened in London.

Positioned close to the City of London at Aldgate East, Whitechapel, the newly-built working space – mi-HUB – has begun supporting migrant entrepreneurs in starting, growing and managing their firms, providing tools and training needed for migrant-led businesses.

The hub is able to host 150 entrepreneurs at any one time. As well as shared working spaces, mi-HUB hosts events, and contains meeting rooms for group activities.

The hub’s founder, migrant entrepreneur Rafael dos Santos, from Brazil, said that the aim of mi-HUB was to address the unique issues facing entrepreneurs from overseas starting out in the UK.

“Recent research has shown that the three key issues migrants face when starting or running a business is lack of a network, lack of knowledge and lack of funding,” added dos Santos.

“Mi-HUB has been created to help address these issues and to help migrant entrepreneurs thrive in the modern working world. My vision is to help one million migrant entrepreneurs in the next ten years.”

The news follows recent findings that migrants in the UK are three times as likely to start their own business than British-born members of the population.

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2015, over 15 per cent of migrant adults living in the UK launched startups last year, compared with just 5.3 per cent of lifelong British residents.

The GEM also discovered that UK-born individuals that have lived overseas, and then returned, are more likely to start a venture, with some 10.5 per cent of returning adults doing so.

Mi-HUB, which offers a range of working space options to entrepreneurs for a monthly fee, also offers a migrant startup accelerator programme. The 6 month programme provides training via 16 different workshops and promises to work closely with entrepreneurs to build their network.

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Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.

Business development