Coworking is rapidly becoming a go-to trend among freelancers and entrepreneurs. What distinguishes coworking spaces from traditional office spaces is the creation of a collaborative environment which fosters a sense of community. As entrepreneurial pursuits and the startup scene continues to dominate tech based economic growth, the adoption of coworking spaces works to promote an innovative, diverse and cooperative community of likeminded thinkers.
It is within this culture of community and entrepreneurial spirit that Daoud Ghannam, an Information Technologist with over eight years of experience, founded uMake. uMake was founded at the start of 2018 as a coworking space open to anyone who wants to work or study in a collaborative and creative environment. “I started uMake as an affordable co-op workspace where entrepreneurs, startups, business professionals, students and in general anyone can have access to the needed facilities and support to work towards their goals,” says Ghannam. In addition to their main workspace, uMake includes private meeting rooms, electronic equipment for engineers, and the necessary office equipment needed by students and professionals alike.
Prior to the inception of uMake there weren’t many open spaces where people could come together to work on projects in a fully equipped space. Ghannam relates that as a student and an emerging professional he struggled to find a spot where he could carry out his work, “The main problem is that most people end up going to cafes and restaurants to work or study, because they can’t find a quiet or professional space where they can actually get any work done.” He continues, “Another problem is that students, new business owners and startups lack the economic resources to rent out offices, this is what actually inspired me to open uMake.”
Not only does uMake provide their members with a fully equipped space, they also host open events and workshops for their local communities that cover various issues and subjects including entreprenurial events, social development initiaitves, innovation seminars, just to name a few. “We want to bring our communities together in an inclusive environment, so we offer our space to forward thinking organizations and initiatives to raise awareness about issues, to learn new things and make a change,” says Ghannam.
Despite uMake’s strides and accomplishments, Ghannam explains the the culture of coworking is relatively new to Palestine, “For me, it's all about creating a community." He adds, "I'm always reaching out to people to bring awareness about the benefits coworking spaces, because it is more than just a space, we are a growing community of students, entreprenuers, and professionals working to achieve great things and make a difference."
As uMake continues to attract new members, Ghannam seeks to expand uMake’s coworking space to include private offices, as well as much needed administrative and consulting services offered by marketing and financial experts. “When it comes to freelancers and emerging startups it is important to have in-house business experts to help them build their business models and develop strategies to achieve their goals," Ghannam explains. “There are many services our members ask for but this needs investments and the resources to make it happen.”
uMake currently offers two accessible options to both recurring members or walk-ins, this includes both monthly subscriptions and time passes. In addition, uMake makes use of their meeting rooms by hosting training courses, workshops and seminars to any organization that needs a fully equipped space. As a result, uMake attracts over 250 dedicated monthly visitors and has hosted around 70 events.
In addition to Founder and CEO Daoud Ghannam, uMake is made up of a dedicated team of five including Creative Officer Mahran Ismael, Outreach and Event Officer Siraj Abu Snineh and Space Officer Nour Ghannam. The uMake team works tirelessly to maintain their strong social media presence in order to reach out to potential members and keep their local communities up-to date about organized events and workshops.
In terms of impact, uMake is actively promoting an emerging culture that is all about inclusivity, collaboration and innovation. “Through uMake we seek to empower the youth especially students and freelancers to achieve their dreams by providing them with a space where they can interact and learn from other uMake members,” says Ghanna. By encouraging creative thinking and innovation amongst Palestinian youth, Ghannam hopes that uMake will have a positive impact on the Palestinian economy by creating new opportunities spurred by innovation and entrepreneurship.
Daoud finally remarks, “We want to keep our members and the community itself inspired, our monthly members have become a real community and are always consulting and pushing each other to accomplish their best!”
To find out more visit: http://umake.ps
and on Facebook: @UMakeps
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