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Business in Shoreditch

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Shoreditch is a lively business environment, housing an array of digital, technology and innovation-orientated businesses. Known as the 'Silicon Roundabout' or 'Tech City', the number of technology firms in the area rose exponentially since 2008. The economic value of the Shoreditch area for business in the UK is estimated to be substantial.

How Shoreditch has changed

As recently as the 20th century, fashion designer Alexander McQueen described Shoreditch as 'desolate and rough'. The most Shoreditch had to offer business entrepreneurs was a quirky tour up the streets Jack the Ripper frequented and the opportunity to eat a decent Bengali curry. The infamous Brick Lane is a tourist and eatery spot, for those visiting the streets The Ripper tore his victims from. Not many know Shakespeare once lived in Shoreditch, which was home to one of the first theatres ever built in London. It was only a matter of time before an area of cultural importance adjacent to nearby Hoxton (a party locale since the 10th century) was recognised for its central location and business potential.

The recent improvement in the affairs of Shoreditch can be traced to a dedicated team of locals who formed The Shoreditch Festival. In 2008, they engaged a full time community manager who activated the enthusiasm of a swathe of local people to revitalise the borough. 160 individuals became deeply involved in creating events, designing stands, and marketing Shoreditch as a fantastic business location. One key idea, was capitalizing on the diversity of people living in Shoreditch. The Shoreditch International Village display - a representation of the six major cultures in Shoreditch, was run entirely by local residents. Inside a cultural marquee there were craft demonstrations, games, costumes, performances, stalls and food from around the world. Proof that a local community can change their part of the world for the better, the festival's theme: 'a future of difference' proved a catalyst for rapid investment in Shoreditch. Drab and deserted streets came back to life overnight.

It is fitting Shoreditch is now a hotbed of culture and technology firms, gastronomical delights, stylish pubs, excellent curry houses, and artisan shops.

Major Industries in Shoreditch today

One of the most famous references to Shoreditch in 2015 is the moniker "Tech City". From a modest 50 or so business technology start-up firms attracted to settle in around 2008, in 2015 there are more than 12,500 small, medium and global enterprises located in Shoreditch (according to Bloomberg and KPMG analysts).

Key businesses in Shoreditch, aside from technology or technology service firms, such as Google, Amazon and Facebook (to name a few of the bigger players), include the kind of trade you'd expect to move into an area where 12,000 new jobs in technology were created since 2008. Today shopping in Shoreditch rivals West End destinations. You will find big brands, designer boutiques, up and coming labels, and quirky gift shops making a decent retail trading profit.

Contributors to the Economy

The UK Government invested £350 million into Shoreditch and the nearby Olympic Park area to encourage major global technology businesses. The project, known as East London Tech City, has been a huge success with over £1 billion in private investment firm money entering the UK technology marketplace in 2012 to 2014. The local effect of the new investment in the area can be seen in the restaurant and market/craft stalls run by locals. Brick Lane has a market on Sunday's known as 'up markets'. Around 2000 new jobs have been created in local consumer industries since 2008.

What is the future for business in Shoreditch?

Poignant historical events in East London included the designation that thousands of plague victims were to be buried here (in Hollywell Lane, 1665). Shoreditch later became the locale of Jack the Ripper, and a place for prostitutes, workhouses, and 19th century council housing for the poor. The borough was severely bombed as part of the World War 'schoolboy strike of 1911'. As zeppelins damaged East London, demolishing street markets, tower blocks and the homes of the poor, they unwittingly contributed to transforming Shoreditch into the hipster-packed area it has become.

Today it is safe to say "the bells of Shoreditch" have finally rung for entrepreneurs interested in doing business in 'Tech City'. Shoreditch's transformation is living proof the power a local community can have to transform itself. Hopefully, the diversity and character of the area will stay safely in the hands of local people, making it a great place to do business, and an interesting place to go out after work as well.