London real estate trust to launch pop-up incubator in West End

A London real estate trust has announced a startup initiative to support small businesses in the West End.

Start up with Seven Dials is a business incubator, which will support small businesses born from the ‘kitchen table’ during lockdown.

It will be available to enter for all types of retail brands, including fitness, fashion, lifestyle, and homewares for a two-week period, starting from today (29 September).

Entrants to Start up with Seven Dials will be judged by a panel of industry experts including Krissy Turner, shopping editor at the Daily Telegraph; Tom Bottomley, fashion and retail consultant; and Samantha Bain-Mollison, retail director at Shaftesbury.

The judges will decide which startup brands will be offered a pop-up space in Seven Dials, a retail and leisure destination in London’s West End.

The pop-up will sit among Seven Dials’ 95 shops, which include international flagships, concept stores, and independent boutiques.

During the Covid-19 lockdown, 10 per cent of small businesses have launched new products or expanded services from home.

Chosen brands will receive support from Shaftesbury and Seven Dials to set up in London’s West End.

Samantha Bain-Mollison, retail director at Shaftesbury, commented: “We recognise 2020 has been tough for many businesses but it has also been a time of creativity with many start-ups harnessing the time in lockdown to evolve their brands.

“We want to help them take the next step with a bricks-and-mortar presence and encourage future entrepreneurs of the area.”

Unit London recently announced the opening of their new permanent exhibition space following a number of pop-ups at Seven Dials.

Joe Kennedy, co-founder of Unit London said, “We are fortunate enough to have a seven-year long history of pop-up exhibitions in Seven Dials.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for any budding businesses to get a foothold in the heart of one of the greatest cities in the world.”

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