A few weeks ago the Hackney Council announced that they would be raising rates by 46% due to their value perception of the area, rents and other questionable stats. Launch22 founder, Eddie Holmes, wrote a blog post about it and now comes the follow up.
Over the span of two and a half years, Launch22 London and Launch22 Liverpool have had 500 members through its doors who have formed 350 businesses and produced 90 new jobs (and counting). Story Terrace, The social shop, eRevalue and Meakabears, to name a few, are all companies that started their journey in Launch22 and have since grown to be well established businesses.
We’ve hosted approximately 300 start-up related events and our mentors have provided members with over 2000 hours of valuable mentoring. We’ve truly established ourselves as a start-up incubator helping entrepreneurs grow their business fast in the right direction and in a great environment. All this has been accomplished whilst remaining true to our identity as a charity being not-for-profit and being affordable for every one and even free to those without the means of paying the membership in the beginning. So what does it mean for us when the Hackney Council is ruthless in their quest for money? This:
The bulk of Launch22’s funds is currently sourced from membership fees with some rare donations. Our partnership with Catch22 a year ago has also given us great support. However, with the situation we now find ourselves in, we must somehow create new creative strategies for higher funds without sacrificing our pledge to make entrepreneurship accessible to everyone. One such way of going about this problem is the creation of the Launch22 Philanthropy fund.
Even if the Hackney council doesn’t see the value in the work we have done over the years and the support we have given as a cornerstone in the entrepreneur ecosystem, we want to continue what we are doing and not at the expense of our members and those we are trying to help. That is why we reach out to those in this society who do understand and value our mission. Donations will do so much not just for us, but for those who rely on our work and services.
We at Launch22- volunteers, mentors and members, hope that this information reaches the right people and that we can continue working with entrepreneurs and start-ups, providing them with all the tools they need to succeed. If the downhill continues, it will mean that one of the core pillars in the entrepreneurial ecosystem will be taken away which will lead to less jobs, less innovation, less start-ups and all in all a weaker ground for businesses to launch.
Let start-ups hatch, let Launch22 incubate.