The Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee will bring many unique opportunities for start-ups. With the influx of visitors expected to the UK, it is estimated that international visitors are expected to spend £709m over the seven-week Olympic Games period.
The tourism, leisure and accommodation industry alone is hoping for a boost of around £1bn thanks to the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Doubtless the government will blame any disappointing GDP figures this year on the four-day Bank Holiday weekend, but even the Bank of England expects the growth rate in the third quarter of 2012 to be around 0.2% higher than it would have been without the Olympics and Paralympics.
Companies benefiting from the more buoyant economy range from those set up specifically to capture Olympic business, like London Rent My House, through those such as WiperWaggers and Mask-arade who are cheekily jumping onto the bandwagon, to businesses that have no direct link to either event but identify 2012 as a year of opportunity for a niche business. These include Toby Howes Furniture and Croud: the former expects to ride the wave in luxury consumption that inevitably accompanies an influx of wealthy individuals; the latter the upside experienced by its blue-chip clients.
The remainder of the featured companies all see more or less direct opportunities arising from the Jubilee or the Olympics. All of them typify the go-for-it attitude that enables small, nimble start-ups to adapt to changes in the market and seize opportunities as soon as they arise. Frankly, if the big events of 2012 do not deliver a spike in the economy at large, they believe, it will be because private firms did not see and exploit the cornucopia that has opened in front of them.