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Creasy tells Invest Waltham Forest: “With nearly one in seven residents in Walthamstow now self employed, supporting their entrepreneurship will be critical in helping to support our local community.” Indycube has taken over the CoOperative bank branch on Hoe Street, which serves as a base for its members and helps develop the business support on offer to residents. This will include low-cost work space, networking events and business support activities. Indycube’s founder Mark Hooper says the objective is straightforward: to nurture opportunities for selfemployed people by giving them a unionised community facility. “We want people to stay closer to home so they can pick up their children from school and travel less,” Hooper says.

Indycube has a 50/50 gender split, something Hooper believes is different to other workspaces, which, he says, “tend to be full of testosterone and boys with their toys”. “We have been around for eight years and approximately 2,000 people have benefited from our services,” he adds. Another boost to self-employed people is for those who suffer from unstable income brought about by late payments: Indycube offers help to overcome this problem for a small fee. Hooper points out small businesses and freelancers are £26 billion out of pocket because of late payments.

New ways to work

Hooper believes innovation is rare in places where everyone is the same.

“We have people through our doors who are operating a business on a global scale, but we also have small lifestyle businesses. Each is as important to us as the other.”

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“We are also sector-agnostic, which essentially means we don’t care who comes in. The result is lots of different people, from different backgrounds and with different skills, come together to share their expertise.”

“While it’s important for people in the workspace to have selfemployment as a commonality,” he adds, “they don’t all have to be selling or making the same thing.

Creasy, who won the new union the backing of the co-operative party, calls Indycube “revolutionary in putting the means of production in the hands of the workers”.

+ Lots of different people – from different backgrounds and with different skills – come together +

Left: Blackhorse Workshop sees a community of makers come together to ply their trade or improve their skills.

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Invest Waltham Forest 4  

This fourth edition of Invest Waltham Forest looks at how the borough is prioritising culture-led regeneration and good quality design.

Invest Waltham Forest 4  

This fourth edition of Invest Waltham Forest looks at how the borough is prioritising culture-led regeneration and good quality design.