This is a business many of you might already know about, but if you don’t it is well worth checking out in whichever city you live in. The best way to describe the The HUB is perhaps as a global movement in social entrepreneurship. I first encountered The HUB through its Singapore HUB – a wonderful center of collaboration and entrepreneurial innovation. But I am not the only one who is impressed. The HUB has also received recognition from Forbes Magazine and The Guardian and has grown to have more than 5,000 members worldwide.
WHAT IS THE BUSINESS ABOUT?
Basically The HUB is a shared space for likeminded people to work together. It mission is to foster innovation through collaboration that will spawn ventures to make the world a better place. To achieve this The HUB provides a carefully curated and managed workspaces that feel very much like home, with access to key necessities, internet, conference and meeting rooms and normally access to plenty of caffeine. It also serves as a networking platform linking “members” together via its exclusive members only network. Finally it also in most cases organizes events and social activities for people to have plenty of opportunity to network in person.
HOW DID IT START?
The HUB was founded in 2005 in London as a place for innovators to meet. It has grown dramatically since then. There are now 30 HUB’s worldwide and 50 more in the making.
WHAT IS THE SOCIAL NEED IT ADDRESSES?
It creates a comfortable and collaborative working space for aspiring entrepreneurs (e.g. people without work). It believes that there is no shortage of good ideas to solve the issues facing the globe but rather a lack of collaboration and support to make them happen. Brining people together from all walks of life with the desire to create a sustainable impact in the world.
WHAT IS THE BUSINESS MODEL?
The HUB gets its revenues through membership fees. Basically it charges members who want to use the shared office space a fee depending on the number of hours they want to use the space. The fees are set by each HUB and depend upon the number of hours a person or organization plans to use the space. Recently some HUB’s have begun to also gain revenue through providing office space for established NGOs and also charging for special events.
WHAT ARE SOME CHALLENGES IT FACES?
As a WSJ article points out not everyone likes to work in shared work space. In addition many HUBs must struggle on how to make the shared work spaces prices affordable enough to attract entrepreneurs who don’t have money but also high enough to make the venture sustainable. Finally there are low barriers to entry, it would be very easy for people to create similar ventures and access the network indirectly since all that really matters are the people inside. So as much as The HUB can build its brand more likely it will be a sustainable success. Thoughts?
WHAT IS YOUR VOTE?