Welcome to the fourth episode of the Visionaries podcast series, where we bring you inspiring stories of innovators shaping the future of work and community. Today, we have the pleasure of introducing Stephen Carrick-Davies, a social entrepreneur based in South London, who runs two community workspaces in the area. These spaces prioritize openness, accessibility, and affordability, fostering a vibrant and inclusive environment.
Stephen not only oversees the operations of these workspaces but also organizes training programs that aim to enhance employment opportunities and skills development within the local community. In this episode, host Jose Antonio Morales delves into Stephen's journey, exploring the inspiration behind the creation of Hatch Hubs and the personal connection that fuels his passion for empowering individuals and supporting communities.
Through their conversation, they discuss the transformative power of coworking spaces, the importance of taking initiative and embracing risk, and how Hatch Hubs measures its social impact. Stephen also shares stories of individuals who have experienced significant personal and professional growth through their involvement with Hatch Hubs.
Looking ahead, Stephen envisions focused expansion within South London while also aspiring to make a global impact. He reveals his vision of establishing a Hatch Hubs chapter in Ukraine, contributing to rebuilding communities affected by conflict and empowering young people for a brighter future.
Whether you're a coworking space owner, a business leader, or someone who values inclusivity and social impact, this interview offers valuable insights and inspiration. Join us on this transformative journey with Stephen Carrick-Davies, the visionary behind Hatch Hubs, and discover how his project is reshaping the way we work, connect, and make a positive difference in our communities.
The inspiration for naming our coworking space "Hatch Hubs" and starting this venture stems from a series of serendipitous events. I reside in Hatchem, an old community division that holds historical significance. The opportunity arose when a remarkable old building, the Liberal Club, needed restoration. Instead of letting it become luxury flats, I proposed the idea of creating a space where people could work together. In 2019, Hatch Hubs was born.
Our focus goes beyond renting desks or rooms; we aim to bring people together, recognizing the importance of work in our lives.
The names Hatcham House and Hatch Peckham pay homage to the community's roots and history.
Through sharing my story, I hope to inspire others to create similar spaces that foster connection and a sense of ownership. Workspaces can be transformative, enabling individuals to thrive and communities to unite.
My journey in exploring various career paths, particularly in the voluntary sector and technology, led me to focus on safeguarding children through organizations like Childnet. With a background in India and Nepal, I actively participated in post-earthquake school-building efforts.
Expressing my values and making a positive impact has always been at the core of my life.
Through my work, I've come to realize the significance of acting locally while thinking globally. Embracing opportunities that come my way, I remain curious, restless, and driven to prevent destruction.
Benefitting local communities has been a central theme, and I strongly believe that individual efforts within our local context can have a profound effect. Although my concerns extend globally, I recognize the power of starting at a local level, growing influence, and ultimately making a broader impact.
No, I did not start alone. I believe in the power of inviting others to join me on this journey of making a difference.
It began with hiring a young woman who had been made redundant during the pandemic. I offered her a free place in our workspace to rebuild her confidence. As she settled in, she expressed a desire to contribute and eventually became a volunteer. Over time, she transitioned to a full-time employee and now plays a key role as a director. We now have a team of five, mostly young individuals, working together on this project. It's incredible to witness their meaningful contributions and the power of providing opportunities.
Yes, coworking spaces have a profound effect on their members by encouraging them to take initiative and embrace risk. In our coworking spaces, we provide a diverse environment that may not appeal to everyone initially. However, we offer a free trial, recognizing that it may not be the right fit for everyone. Our focus is on hospitality, quality interactions, and fostering a vibrant community.
Through initiatives like Facework, we instill in individuals the concept of "teach once, learn twice."
By taking responsibility and contributing to the community, members enhance their own learning and develop a sense of ownership. In our communities, we witness people coming together, willingly sharing their experiences and insights during various gatherings and events.
Creating an environment where values are demonstrated, treating individuals with respect as both customers and members, and fostering genuine relationships lead to transformative experiences. While some customers may choose to explore other options, fostering a sense of community nurtures meaningful and lasting connections.
At Hatch Hubs, we prioritize creating a sustainable business model to fund and sustain our social entrepreneurship initiatives.
We have utilized our existing assets, developed the Hatch House app and membership cards for marketing, and focused on affordability and steady income.
We have also explored partnerships and offering our space for hire to generate additional revenue. Our approach combines innovative methods with a focus on delivering outstanding services to ensure financial viability from the start.
At Hatch Hubs, we prioritize quality alongside affordability. Our pricing structure offers flexibility and accessibility, with a daily rate of £12.50 and special programs for young people.
We also prioritize safety and inclusivity by providing 24/7 access and creating a welcoming environment for individuals of diverse backgrounds. While we have encountered challenges along the way, our focus remains on making a positive impact and contributing to the dynamic energy of London.
At Hatch Hubs, we measure social impact through a combination of qualitative and quantitative assessments. Quantitatively, we track metrics such as 30% of our members coming from the creative sector and conducting diversity audits. We also gather feedback from members, including those who leave, to understand their career progression and improve our services.
However, we believe that impact goes beyond numbers. Creating a welcoming and joyful work environment, fostering happiness and community, are qualitative aspects that are equally valuable. We aim to facilitate personal growth, resilience, and meaningful connections, recognizing that significant changes cannot always be condensed into quantifiable metrics.
What sets Hatch Hubs apart is our underlying motivation and values that drive us forward. We are not simply focused on profit or expansion; our goal is to transform our community and positively impact people's lives.
Our integration of training within the workspace, along with our commitment to creating environments that foster personal and professional growth, sets us apart from others in the industry.
We aim to bring dignity, purpose, and social capital back into the lives of individuals, making Hatch Hubs a unique and fulfilling experience.
Hatch Hubs goes beyond being a workspace. It serves as a guiding light and an inspiration for individuals and organizations seeking to create meaningful impact. Through our efforts to repurpose unused spaces and engage with the local community, we aim to inspire others to embark on similar endeavors.
We believe in sharing our experiences openly and providing ideas and inspiration to those who may not have much material wealth but have a wealth of ideas. While the journey may be challenging, we are passionate about reimagining the role of work in our community and fostering connections among individuals.
Certainly! One member, Laura, joined us unemployed and later became a director of a company. Her growth has been remarkable. Another member, Helena, partnered with Mariana for language learning, leading to Helena's significant progress. Now, Helena and Mariana assist 40 Ukrainians weekly, providing training and support. These stories exemplify the transformative power of Hatch Hubs.
Looking ahead, our plans for Hatch Hubs involve focused expansion with two more locations in South London within the next 18 months.
However, my vision goes beyond local growth. I'm driven to make a positive impact globally, particularly in Ukraine, where we aim to establish a Hatch Hubs chapter, incorporating workspaces and high-quality training in soft skills, employment, and social entrepreneurship. By nurturing personal growth and development, I believe we can contribute to rebuilding communities affected by conflict and empower young people for a brighter future. Small steps can make a big difference, and I encourage others to embrace the journey of creating meaningful social impact.
Thank you for joining us on this remarkable journey as we delved into coworking and entrepreneurship, uncovering inspiring stories and valuable insights. Our conversation with Stephen Carrick-Davies from Hatch Hubs has shed light on the transformative power of coworking spaces and the vision behind creating inclusive work environments.
But our exploration doesn't end here.
Our next destination is Campfire Coworksa rural coworking space that ignites collaboration and empowers digital nomads in Michigan's serene Upper Peninsula, fostering a dynamic community as warm as its name suggests. Get ready for more captivating discussions and unique perspectives from coworking leaders around the globe.
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Thank you for embarking on this enlightening journey with us, and we look forward to welcoming you back next time!