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Uber launches London pop-up to support employee startups

Taxi giant Uber and business network Enterprise Nation are launching a pop-up shop on London’s Oxford Street to showcase Uber employees’ and partners’ business ideas.

The pop-up forms the final stage of the ‘Empowering Journey Scheme’, a project started to help drivers, couriers, and restaurants accelerate their entrepreneurial ideas.

To date, 76 business ideas from Uber drivers and couriers have been funded as part of the Business Builder initiative, putting it on track to fund its target of 100 projects by 2022.

Each of these business founders have been given training sessions with senior advisers at Enterprise Nation and received grants of between £2k and £10k.

A selection of these will now be given the opportunity to sell their products and showcase their services at an Oxford Street pop-up provided by co-retail space startup, Sook.

Emma Jones CBE, founder of Enterprise Nation, said: “Starting your own business, taking that leap of faith and trusting your own ability to graft and ‘go alone’ is what being an entrepreneur is all about.

“By default, individuals who sign up to become an Uber driver or courier have already demonstrated those attributes and Business Builder is all about encouraging that mindset further to help those individuals build even bigger business portfolios.”

Ash Kebriti, general manager for the UK and Ireland, Uber, said: “The business ideas and strategies we’ve seen to date have been fantastic and we’re sure that the shoppers on Oxford Street will be as excited as we are about what’s on offer.”

John Hoyle, CEO and Founder of Sook, said: “Sook was created to remove the barriers to occupying physical retail spaces and give small businesses the chance to connect with customers and communities.

“Working with Uber and Enterprise Nation at our prestigious Oxford Street store gives these entrepreneurs the opportunity to gather feedback and engage customers with their brands. Our data can help these businesses understand who their customers really are, so they can work out how to drive them towards their products.

“By enabling multiple businesses to use the store in the same week we’re also facilitating the co-retail concept, creating more innovative retail experiences for our high street shoppers.”

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