Stelios's latest idea: offices for £99 a week

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The Independent Online

The newest addition to SirStelios Haji-Ioannou's stable of bright orange and white brands opens its door today, offering cut-price office space in the upmarket Kensington area of London.

Sir Stelios, the Greek businessman knighted for services to entrepreneurship last year, is aiming easyOffice at the growing number of young entrepreneurs.

According to research by Barclays, more than a quarter of a million new businesses were set up in the first half of 2007, up 7 per cent from last year. Sir Stelios's target market, the under-25s, grew the fastest, setting up 20,000 businesses in the past 12 months, up 15 per cent year on year.

In a statement, the easyJet founder said the idea was to get people with business ideas on their feet. "Over the years I have met many people who start their business from their bedroom or kitchen table," he said. "They reach a stage where they need three things: an address which is not residential; a place to meet clients, other than the local Starbucks – and once they are ready to hire staff, they can't really tell them to start reporting for work at their own home."

Sir Stelios was quick to dismiss suggestions that this was a venture into commercial real-estate, saying: "We are a booking engine, not a property company ... In fact, I am just using the upstairs of the easyInternetCafe site in Kensington for the pilot phase."

The Kensington High Street site will have offices available for as little as £99 a week.

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