Join the Hustle
18 June 2019 - dakar

Impact Hub is my second entrepreneurial venture in the incubation/coworking field. The first one was functional, but it wasn’t what I hoped it would be, and I found myself not finding the motivation to wake up every morning to take it to the next level. It had and still has great businesses, a decent location and a name, but it was missing this one thing. I could feel it, but I didn’t even know what it was. I do now: Collaboration.

This term gets thrown around a lot, and sounds very serious and professional, but there is something to be said about people who’re able to see past their individual businesses, past their problems (and God knows they have many) and say, “what do you do? Maybe I can help?”

As I am writing this, I am under the pressure of Babacar, a freelance developer who offered to build this website for free.  I owe him a couple articles, including this one. Babacar has been a key member of the Impact Hub community, and has contributed expertise to many businesses, along with a wonderful sense of humor. Earlier today, I asked one of the founders incubated here to help me select the next batch businesses to be supported in our programs. He made himself readily available. Later today, the founder of Oui Carry is coming to the hub to share his experience of going through the fundraising rounds. Of all the people I mentioned, no one is getting paid for the support and the experience he provides. But each and every one of them will need help at some point and they all know they’ll find it here. That’s what we’re all about.

One thing I’ve learned, in life and in business, is that things only go as far as people take them. People are central in any venture, organization, project, country etc. The people at Impact Hub are kind, cool and generous. It might sound simple and cliché, but it’s true and it’s the most special thing about this most special of places.

While the intention was always to make it a quality coworking space and a proper support hub, you can’t design a space with a spirit like this, human creativity hasn’t reached that level yet. There is a form of magic around Impact Hub. The founders laid the groundwork and the staff basically took it home.  The staff members are not dedicated to their jobs, they are dedicated to fun, action and support. They are respectful, smart and relaxed, but also highly professional in everything that they do.

My greatest pride in life used to be my blog. Now, it is to have created a space where people can experience camaraderie and togetherness, the things that I missed most from school, as well as a chance to craft and design their individual and collective futures, something you can only do after school.

Entrepreneurship is hard and so is the running and management of a hub. We take nothing for granted, the very existence of these spaces is threatened in a region that hasn’t yet figured out a model for them. It doesn’t matter. This is why this is exciting. We’re not here for the destination, we’re here for the trip. We’re not here for the money, we’re here for the hustle.

Join the hustle.