The Network Hub – New Westminster is striving to be the go-to place for local entrepreneurs.
Since 2011, the Network Hub has provided a variety of services at its co-working loft in New Westminster, including meeting room and office space rentals, co-working space and event space for seminars and workshops, as well as mailbox rentals. In addition to a physical space in which to work, the Network Hub aims to foster a sense of community and collaboration.
“Work for yourself, not by yourself,” co-owner Tim Wiles says of the company’s slogan.
Wiles and Mathew Abney recently took over the local Network Hub and are excited about its future. Abney has a marketing background, while Wiles’ background is in critical care and he continues to work for a provincial public health agency. Since moving to New West, they’ve tried to get involved in local community endeavours and Abney started The Royal City account on Instagram, with the popular feed closing in on 20,000 followers.
“This presented itself – I didn’t go out searching for it,” Wiles says of the Network Hub. “A friend of mine, who worked in the space, mentioned the space. I had expressed to him that I’d love to get involved in something like that. Through a series of events, the owner had to leave suddenly. I got introduced and it all came to fruition.”
And just what exactly is the Network Hub?
“The Network Hub is a community of solopreneurs or entrepreneurs who all share a space. They collaborate, rent office space, rent desk space and do so on a monthly basis,” Wiles says. “Our vision for the space is to create a community of entrepreneurs that really fosters, and has a space that really fosters, collaboration. Entrepreneurs who typically work on their own can come and work together.”
Members of the Network Hub come from diverse backgrounds, Wiles says, including tech start-ups, finance, business-support industries and other fields.
“The real benefit of a co-working space is that you have the shared cost of infrastructure and you don’t have to worry about all of the administrative side of things,” Wiles says. “We provide event space. We have dedicated offices. We have dedicated desks. We have a drop-in area so members who want to subscribe to a monthly pass can just drop in and use a desks for a day or for a week.”
Since taking over the business at the end of September, the duo has gotten to work refreshing the space and launching new initiatives, such as the monthly art installation. Community members are invited to attend a relaunch of the community co-working loft and meet the new guys in charge at an open house and networking event on Saturday, Nov. 18 from 3 to 8 p.m. at River Market, 810 Quayside Dr.
“I am always looking for new ideas,” Wiles says. “We are always open to collaboration and partnerships with local businesses. We’d certainly be willing to explore options.”