Our Story

In 2017 we took a row of derelict shops in Walworth and transformed them into something truly special: 55 East, our new community project. At the centre of Walworth’s iconic East Street Market, 55East is a place for locals, creatives, freelancers and entrepreneurs to come together and eat, drink, work and network. We are the biggest community of entrepreneurs in South London, and our location halfway between the city and your home makes it the ideal place to meet like-minded movers and shakers.

Thanks to the Peabody Housing Association, we have been able to create three bright, modern spaces: a high quality co-working space, a friendly coffee shop, and a retail pop-up and event space for the community to share ideas and be inspired.

Since opening we have hosted over 150 events, attended by over 1000 people, and we run affordable programmes for entrepreneurs and ambitious individuals with a desire to make a positive impact on their wider communities.

55East is not just a thriving new community hub. It’s a project with a vision.

Kitchen

Is working from home giving you cabin fever? Need a place to meet friends or business partners? Drop in to the Kitchen, grab a coffee, plug in your laptop and settle in. The friendly, relaxed atmosphere is the perfect place to work on the fly, have lunch or gaze out the window at the market as you dream up the next move for your business. Our trained baristas will rustle you up something from our menu of delicious, healthy, handmade grub, and all at affordable prices. We don’t have to look far to source our food – the market is just outside and brimming with the freshest produce. We work with local traders and help the local economy, so it’s all part of what makes us different.

We pride ourselves in paying our staff members the London Living Wage, and all proceeds we make from the Kitchen go towards funding our community enterprise and entrepreneurship programmes being set up in The Studio next door.

Studio

Need a place to chase investors and build your business in a professional environment? The Studio is a co-working space functioning as our primary office, and we also offer it to entrepreneurs as an affordable workplace. This is one of our most essential services, as early stage businesses often don’t have the resources to rent quality office space. Get your head down and graft, or learn and bounce ideas off our staff. We’re always ready to help you in any way we can, and members get access to one free workshop a month with business coaches and industry experts!

Lounge

The Lounge is a trendy multi-purpose event space. Combined with the Studio, this space is an essential “nursery” for our entrepreneurs’ fledgling businesses. By supplying reliable, quality work and retail space, we can eliminate key overheads which can snuff out startups, allowing them to attain profitability much faster than would otherwise be possible.

East Street Market

One of the oldest markets in London, East Street has existed in some form since the 1500s. It’s location on the route North to the City made it an important stopover for traders bringing food and manufactured goods from the southern ports. Unlike typical markets in London, no royal charter was signed to establish it, and until 1927 it was an unregulated free-for-all. Traders would gather at the entrance to the street at 8am each morning and wait for a policeman to blow his whistle, and then push their carts down the cobbled street in a frantic rush to claim the best spot.

It’s a living testament to the enterprising spirit of this part of London, but today the market is under threat. The demolition of the nearby Heygate and Aylesbury Estates has uprooted a huge chunk of the local community, and footfall in the market is down by 80%. It’s always been the focal point of this community, but if the community which grew around it is displaced, this unique market could quickly disappear forever.

powered by:

Established in 2014, Hatch is the brainchild of CEO Dirk Bischof. The winner of the 2017 “Enterprising Britain Award”, 2017 Santander “Changemaker Award” and named “London Leader” by The Sunday Times and London Mayor Sadiq Khan for his work supporting entrepreneurs in the capital – Dirk has played an instrumental role in revitalizing some of the most deprived districts of South London.

Hatch believes that the most effective way to enrich a community is to provide the conditions to allow enterprising individuals to succeed. We hope that by giving a leg-up to ambitious self-starters, they will inspire the communities in which they live and instigate a wider social regeneration. Learn more here: hatchenterprise.org