Hackney Shares: A currency you can’t afford to miss
East London is increasingly becoming the home of innovative solutions. Whether it’s the collaborative work spaces of Google Campus, or the minimalist efficiency of Boxpark, Shoreditch is leading the way in fresh thinking and problem solving.
The newest addition to the revolutionary landscape is Hackney Shares – a project set up by Shoreditch Trust in conjunction with the London Legacy Development Corporation. The premise is a simple one: members from a diverse range of backgrounds can offer an hour of their time, resources or expertise to other members. In return, they receive one credit that can be exchanged for the time or service of another member.
The beauty of the project is in its diversity and simplicity. I have a vacant meeting room that I offer to the virtual marketplace. In return for my generous offer being taken up by a member, I now have a credit to spend on a web designer to spruce up our homepage. Simple.
What makes the venture even more impressive is its ability to bring together a wide variety of organisations from the voluntary, public and private sectors: SME’s offering assistance to charities, individuals benefiting from the resources of multinational companies.
Brought together on a single platform, Hackney Shares accommodates tech specialists, designers, photographers, tradesmen and everything in between. Project problem-solver Sarah Henderson is on hand to help track down new avenues of time and resources, so fear not if your specific requirements are not readily available.
The project, which began its trading platform at the start of the year, has in excess of 120 members currently trading, with ambitions for three hundred by the end of 2013. The early success of Hackney Shares has also resulted in plans to roll it out across East London, providing local forums for businesses to benefit from one another without the exchange of capital.
As well as saving money, becoming a member of Hackney Shares provides a platform to create new business relationships and raise the profile of your own company.
As with so many of the endeavours currently emerging in Shoreditch, Hackney Shares is based around the premise of creating a community. The exciting and unusual collaborations that are emerging from this new project reflect the broader theme of cooperation that epitomises the area. Shoreditch Trust’s newest shared work space at 20 East Street is to be a testing ground for this new, formalised platform for resource sharing.
Young companies joining the space will be welcomed to join the project, currently a diverse mix of technology and digital media companies. Here at Shoreditch Office Space, we are hugely excited by the work being done by Shoreditch Trust and projects like Hackney Shares.
For more information on the scheme, visit http://www.hackneyshares.org/