Local entrepreneurs and business people gathered at South Tribe to celebrate the second anniversary of the opening of Batemans Bay’s co-working space.
Starting as an empty warehouse in the Batemans Bay industrial estate, the collaborative business space now houses an impressive list of start-ups and digital creatives working across established and emerging sectors.
Co-founder and Director, Isabel Darling, said South Tribe’s biggest achievement was the community of skilled and visionary people it had brought together.
“When you look at our members, and what they are doing, it makes you excited for the future of the region.” Ms Darling said. “Companies like RONIN, Undersea ROV and Smart Oysters are all breaking new ground in their industries and when you see them share knowledge and information, and talk to each other about future opportunities our area, it validates everything we have set out to achieve.”
RONIN founder, Don Hancock, said their growth has been achieved partly thanks to being in South Tribe “It’s given us the opportunity to expand and bring on new staff, without the commitment to an expensive lease in the CBD. It’s also created a culture of collaboration we didn’t think was possible here in the Bay - we’re mixing with all these different businesses and learning from each other, as well as using each other’s services.”
Mr Hancock said he highly recommended the move from a home office to a dedicated work place. “It’s an absolute must for us now, and for many of the members here, being able to separate yourself from the kids and home duties. It’s better for the kids as well, because when you’re home you can spend higher quality time with them.”
While meeting the two-year mark was a cause for celebration, keeping the privately funded space running has been challenging.
“The biggest challenge is keeping the space affordable enough to make it viable for people to take a risk, or move from working at home, while still meeting our costs. We see the real value of South Tribe as the Social Capital it creates for our region. Not only for those of us already here, but as a pull factor for new entrepreneurs and creatives. It’s a real fight in many ways to keep and attract young and interesting people to the area – to try and do something to balance the ageing demographic. While we can keep that happening, we’ll do everything we can to keep South Tribe’s doors open.” Ms Darling said.
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