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Section 5

Their Startups

It’s time for business. Where the companies are, geographically, sector and stage-wise, let us understand the startups behind our founders and what part startup programmes play in their journey.

Key data on the startups is from Q1 2020, before the drastic impact of Covid-19 on the global economic landscape. Q1 2020, was also an important benchmark as it’s just shy of the 10th anniversary of the Conservative Government of David Cameron unveiling its vision of London as the next global tech city, poised to rival Silicon Valley.

The majority of black founders basing their businesses in the same location East London speaks to the importance of community to them just as their high participation rates in startup accelerators speaks to their desire to perpetually learn.

An African proverb

If a bird does not fly, it goes to bed hungry

You must take action if you want to make a living


Where Are Black Founders Based?

Black people have traditionally lived in the same parts of London building their own communities since the Windrush generation, and this trait hasn’t changed with the majority of Black founders basing their businesses in the same parts of London.

Nearly half of Black founders base their operations in East London, in and around Old Street / Silicon Roundabout (48.3%). Affinity for the East dwarfs the rest of London, with the remaining black founders running their startups in West London (13%), South-East London (12%) or working from home (12%).

As there are Black communities in the many cardinal corners of London, there is a clear preference for East London as the official hub of the London startup ecosystem. Based on the numbers, it is likely that Black founders value the same sense of community that draws entrepreneurs from across the UK and Europe.


Business Maturity & Stage

The majority built their businesses over the last four years. In terms of the maturity and stage of startups included in this report,

93% were either live or available in beta phase with 7% yet to launch.

77% of the founders are generating revenue.

38% of founders had also pivoted their startup compared to 62% who had not.


Business Types

Nearly three-fifths are building b2c startups. The remainder is mainly b2b at 37% with a tiny fraction (5%) tackling b2b2c.


Industry Types

A Malagasy Proverb

Advice is a stranger; if he’s welcome he stays for the night; if not, he leaves the same day


Early Business Support

The numbers of Black founders taking advantage of pre-accelerators is much lower at 15% compared to those graduating from accelerators at 40%.

While we're on the topic...
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