Camden Collective is a registered charity offering free hot-desking space and subsidised offices for creative start-ups in the heart of Camden Town. We take on temporary leases of empty building and bring them back to life, filling them with an ever-growing community of creative young people. We give start-ups the chance to take risks, experiment, and grow in a low-cost way.
The Collective journey started 10 years ago. Since 2009, it has occupied 18 spaces and has introduced various projects, such as: pop-up shops, free courses, accelerators, commissioning public realm projects, free events, and the Camden Create Festival. We have an evolving model, but our community of like-minded individuals are at the heart of what we do, as well as the entrepreneurs and stakeholders who help us to grow and support our next exciting stages of development.
Camden Collective is run by Camden Town Unlimited, the Business Improvement District for Camden Town. In the past, we relied on grants and raising revenue to keep up our activities. Now we’re fully self-sufficient, with income from lockable offices paying for free hot-desking, running costs of the project, and any renovations needed to maintain our hub, or create new ones
Camden Collective is just one of Camden Town Unlimited's forward-thinking projects. We're the same team that's behind the Camden Highline; a project transforming the disused railway between Camden Town and King's Cross, and Euston Town; a business improvement district with a focus on air quality, transport and identity. We're also the co-founders of Alternative Camden; a new type of innovation district for Camden.
Every so often we hold a lunch club at Collective where members bring a dish and share a meal with the Collective fam; a great way to meet new people working at the hub.
We host regular socials so that the Collective Fam can get to know each other outside of work. The socials can be anything from a pub quiz night to a boozy sports day in the park, or just some good ol’ free drinks and beer pong. And of course, each year we host our legendary Collective Christmas Social, a night where we combine the skills, talents, and flair of the Collective Fam to create an unmissable night of festive fun.
In return for use of our workspace, the Collective Fam are asked to contribute two hours of their time per month to support the Collective project. This is done in many ways: creating a mural, taking photographs for the website or social media, giving mentoring sessions to other members, DIY projects, or even just unpacking the dishwasher. It’s a fantastic way for members to show their appreciation and to contribute something back to the Collective community.
Throughout the year, we run Lunchtime Specials, informal talks and information sessions over lunch. We cover a variety of topics relevant to the companies working in the hub, such as: PR on a shoestring, how to network, pensions for start-ups, Instagram 101, and more. They’re a great way for the fam to get together, share a lunch and to learn from experts as well as each other.
We’re always trying to create a collaborative environment where start-ups can connect, network and help each other out. We make sure that we always have a wide variety of start-ups from a range of different backgrounds so that they can learn from each other’s diverse skillsets.
BUSINESS SUPPORT AND MENTORING
Business support is an important part of what we do at Collective. We have e hosted accelerator programmes for freelancers and start-ups in creative industries. Currently, we facilitate drop in sessions on accounting, business development, and coaching and keep members up to date with opportunities available to them through our weekly newsletter. We also try to match companies up in the hub and are always pleased when we see the fam using their skillsets to give each other a helping hand.