Business hub in Echuca Moama!

Shout-out today for the newly established Incubate208 Business Hub Pilot Program at the Bendigo TAFE Echuca campus.

This joint venture between Campaspe Shire Council, Committee for Echuca Moama (C4EM), Bendigo TAFE and Murray River Council aims to determine the demand for a permanent co-working space in our riverside community.

As freelance writers who work from home, we were super excited to hear about this FREE hot-desk office space, established for satellite-workers, start-ups, entrepreneurs, working-from-home professionals (that’s us) and transitioning students.

The Incubate208 program is great news for Echuca Moama, as it acknowledges the maturing of the traditional business model and the readiness of our community to jump on board the growing movement for co-working and collaboration.

This movement is well established overseas and in our major cities and has gradually stretched to regional areas in recent years.

A recent Knight Frank (August 2017) report stated co-working spaces across Australia grew by 62 per cent in the 12 months prior and that Melbourne has the highest volume of co-working spaces in the country.

Figures in the report indicated co-working spaces had increased by almost 300% since 2013, with Melbourne accounting for nearly 50 per cent of sites across Australia, followed by Sydney (38%), Adelaide (5.38%), Brisbane (3.51%), Perth (3.49%) and Canberra (0.35%).

The report also explained with millennials set to flood workspaces over the next five years, the co-working trend is expected to continue, and with the increasing nomadic nature of business and our geographical location to Melbourne, Echuca Moama is perfectly positioned to benefit.

Whether it’s new business, travelling workers or start-ups, Incubate208 aims to cater for all business models and is keen to establish the demand and all associated requirements.

Campaspe Shire Economic Development Officer Astrid O’Farrell explained how co-working helps individuals working from home, who might be new to town, meet like-minded people and establish face-to-face networks.

“We are hoping this pilot program will give us a clear indication of the ongoing demand for a co-working space and allow us to gain additional, ongoing funding,” Astrid said.

The Incubate208 program aims to cater for everyone and offers all the usual trimmings of your regular co-working space, as well as weekly educational and networking forums delivered by industry experts.

The hub, located on Hare Street, offers FREE WiFi, a dedicated office space with access to power (extension cords available) and tea and coffee making facilities.

As a shared space consideration for others in the room is required when taking calls, listening to media and meeting with people.

Hours are currently Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 9am-5pm and Fridays 9am-4.30pm and the three-month trial is set to end on May 31.

Those involved in the establishment and day-to-day running of the hub are encouraging the local business community to get behind this pilot program and make use of the facilities to ensure its future.

Regular Incubate208 participant and previously home-based civil engineer Paul Chinnock said the benefits of co-working include removing the isolation of working from home.

“As we live 10 minutes out of town, I could go days without leaving the front gate,” Paul said.

“Having a shared office space allows me to separate my work from home life and also provides some social interaction,” he said.

Paul echoed Astrid’s call to action to the local business community to support the hub and help establish a case for a more permanent model here in Echuca Moama.

I am planning to use the hub on a Friday morning to get out of my home office (and chat to someone other than my dog) and interact with like-minded individuals, and plan to make the most of the weekly educational and networking sessions starting tomorrow with a Small Business Victoria session on Turning Ideas into a Business.

It has been almost seven years since we established our home based business and we are fully aware that despite the many benefits of working from home, there is also much to gain from establishing new networks and expanding on the collaborative nature of our freelance work by getting out and about and connecting with others. And our very own co-working space here in Echuca Moama is the perfect place to foster new networks!

Maybe we’ll see you down there!

Christy ~ The Splendid Word 

#spreadingthegoodstuff #wordsforgood #coworking #collaboration #businesshub #freelancelife #echuca #moama #community

For more information or to register your interest in the Incubate208 Business Hub Pilot Program visit and follow the links.

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