Broken into but not broken!

One of the UK’s leading accelerator networks for mission-led entrepreneurs is in a race against time to get funding from the London Mayor.

Hatch needs 100 backers by 10th October for its crowdfunding campaign to help unlock up to £50k from the Mayor and other funders. It needs the cash to support its south London community café and workspace, 55 East, to become a fully sustainable social enterprise.

Hatch CEO and Founder Dirk Bischof said: “We can only unlock these funds if we can get at least 100 people to donate to the Spacehive Campaign. It can help us unlock £40k-£50k, which would be huge for us! We really need these funds to get 55 East to the next level and become a financially sustainable social enterprise.”

Since November 2017, 55 East has run 250+ events for 1,000+ people at the space, training over 80 entrepreneurs to launch or grow their businesses. The team has also served more than 2,500 cups of coffee from local social enterprise Change Please. 

But it’s not been plain sailing. “In June we pretty much ran out of funds to actively project manage events and activities. Then came the much-dreaded summer hole and business was slow at the coffee shop. We thought, ok, things will pick up,” reports Bischof.

“But then the real shock came a few weeks ago… At around 1am, I had just fallen asleep and get a phone call from an unknown number. I pick up. It’s a police sergeant. He tells me that he's standing in front of 55 East where there's been a break in… Two nights later, 2am, the phone rings... and this time it’s one of the huge windows that’s been kicked in.”

Bischof continues: “We had to dig into our non-existent 'reserves' to install emergency shutters at huge cost and install new windows and new doors, but one thought remained: We won't give up!

"But, there's a lot of stuff we need to now fix and improve now, which is why we've decided to do a crowdfunding campaign. Whether you can give £2 or £20, we would really appreciate the help!”

As this story went to press, there were 62 backers for the campaign. You can help Hatch and 55 East take a step further towards the 100 they need, and read mor about what they’ve achieved in the space in the past few months, here.