Creative hubs come in a range of forms including makerspaces, studios, fablabs, coworking spaces, creative communities and collectives, both physical or virtual etc. They have become a fast growing ecosystem across the globe, with over 1.2 million people using coworking spaces alone. Hubs play an important societal role for creatives to connect and support one another while developing their practice in a nurturing environment.
Together with the British Council and Hivos, we wanted to develop a learning programme and resources that respond to the unique needs and challenges that hub leaders as entrepreneurs face.
We worked with hubs around the world to understand their challenges and skills gaps at different stages of development. From that research, we:
- Developed a modular and blended learning programme that often included a three-day workshop, a period of self-led learning and a two-day retreat.
- Recruited CHA trainers in Southern Africa and East Africa with the British Council country teams and in Brazil through Impact Hub Sao Paolo.
- Delivered 14 face-to-face learning experiences reaching hub leaders from Brazil, Botswana, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Philippines, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
- Published the Creative Hub Leader’s Toolkit.
We were interested in ways in which the creative economy, arts and culture innovate to remain relevant, diverse and sustainable. Our research on the future of work highlighted the importance of creativity, with 87% of ‘creative occupations’ resistant to automation. With a growing young workforce, global shortage of jobs and an ever present need for community organising and activism, it was an important time to be supporting hubs to be entrepreneurial and collectively strong.
CHA built on many years of impactful delivery of the Creative Enterprise Programme (CEP). Our aim here was to strengthen the local networks and communities of practice within the creative industries. Supporting hubs was a logical next step for us, contributing to broader ecosystem development.