A place to create ideas

AT WORK: Vuyelwa Madela and Meghan Perry are social entrepreneurs . PHOTO: MABUTI KALI
AT WORK: Vuyelwa Madela and Meghan Perry are social entrepreneurs . PHOTO: MABUTI KALI

ONE of the accolades often paid to the French capital, Paris, is how in the 20th century the city became the centre of grassroots forums for philosophical discussion.

Founded by philosopher Marc Sautet, the movement saw the springing up of "café philos" throughout France and internationally.

Today groups of young social entrepreneurs are creating global hubs.

With more than 5000 members and over 30 hubs across the globe, the hubs provide work-and-meet spaces for entrepreneurs.

Founded in 2010, the Hub Johannesburg creates space in which social entrepreneurs can network, exchange ideas and build a community.

Based in Braamfontein, the Hub Johannesburg provides individual social entrepreneurs who cannot afford to rent conventional office space, virtual offices in which they can work on their project.

"We are in business to make an impact," Hub Johannesburg director Greg Musiker said.

When Sowetan visited the hub groups of social entrepreneurs were at work on their projects.

"Working here makes me feel part of a bigger team that is working towards bringing change in the world," said Chantal Mann, who heads the Adventist Development Relief Agencies - an organisation involved in training community counsellors in seven African countries.

Also busy on her project was Vuyelwa Madela of Behold - an organisation involved in a project called "adopt a school" aimed at matching companies with needy schools.

Individuals can become hub members by paying a membership fee, which allows them to use facilities.

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