In 2017, Hatch Enterprise, a charity that supports social enterprise in South London opened 55 East: a co-working space set up as an affordable hub for the community on East Street.
After a successful crowdfunding campaign, it has now launched three spaces: 55 East Studio, an affordable co-working and training space; 55 East Lounge, events and retail hub and 55 East Kitchen, a community run cafe.
The 55 East project was a concept developed by Hatch Enterprise, Peabody and local traders and is open to members of the community to explore their business and social enterprise ideas. It provides a multitude of spaces and opportunities to trial not-profit and commercial ideas, networking and training. One thriving aspect of 55 East is that it employs local people and sells locally-sourced food in its mission to strengthen and expand the network of small independent business and traders in Walworth. The project builds on the rich trading history of East Street Market, one of London’s oldest and most iconic street markets, existing since the 16th century.
Dirk Bischof, CEO of Hatch Enterprise said: “Our aim for 55 East is to celebrate the area’s rich history of trade and the recent rise of entrepreneurship while offering an inclusive platform for the community to share their ideas and collaborate.
“We understand the struggle small businesses are facing through the on-going changes in Southwark and the difficulties starting a business can entail. Southwark and Lambeth contain some of the most talented, high-spirited and entrepreneurial individuals we’ve ever met.”
Hatch Enterprise is one of the UK’s leading charities and has supported over 800 entrepreneurs in Southwark and Lambeth since 2013. Through award-winning training and events, they offer short and long-term support to entrepreneurs in South London who are addressing societal or environmental challenges.
This summer, 55 East has launched a Southwark inspired art exhibition. From now until the end of August, 55 East is hosting an exhibit called a Tale of Two Southwarks. This body of work by photographer John Pheasant and painter Suchi Chidambaram sets out to capture the diversity and contrasts of both the borough’s rich history and modern makeover. The exhibit is on display from 10am- 5pm Monday-Friday, June 1st – August 31st.
If you are a member of the local community and would like to get involved or go to one of the weekly events please visit www.55east.co.uk. If you are a local business and interested to register for one of Hatch Enterprise’s Launchpad or Incubator Programmes you can visit http://hatchenterprise.org/our-programmes/