Youth Enterprise Centre


The Mercury Asset Management Youth Enterprise Centre offered opportunity to encourage young businesses to develop into self-sustaining enterprises. The businesses benefited from reduced rent and on site management support.



Then Mercury Asset Management Youth Enterprise Centre was established in 1988 through the combined efforts of Mercury Asset Management, BAT Industries plc, London City Action Team and the SLBI who managed and administered the centre.

The YEC was well known for providing young entrepreneurs with an opportunity to start and develop their own business. SLBI offered this opportunity not only by providing low cost office space but also ongoing business advice and secretarial services.

The most obvious appeal of the YEC was its system of rents. Charges for office space started as low as £27 per month and rose slowly to a commercial figure.

According to SLBI’s Tim Blackler who managed the YEC: “Cheap rent was the carrot that first attracted people to the YEC. After that it was really the backup we gave that was most important. We monitored the businesses carefully, gave them regular financial help and generally steer them in the right direction”

Tim Blackler was the YEC mother hen, keeping a close eye on the young businesses, making sure they stayed on track and hopefully seeing them through the early and most traumatic stages of their development.

He arranged professional advice on anything from marketing or accounting to recruiting and product development.

After 18 months, businesses were expected to have become fully commercial and should be able to start looking for accommodation in the open market, making room for another wave of new businesses.