The Hub G63
The Hub G63 is a collective of like-minded people living in the G63 postcode, near Glasgow, who are on a mission to make it easier for everyone to access sustainable food. The Hub G63 runs a zero-waste shop, an online market of local producers and various events, centering food as a way to build community and live more sustainably.
We asked Ruth, The Hub G63’s operations manager, a few questions about the experience of setting up a social enterprise.
What inspired you to set up The Hub G63?
I have always had a social and environmental conscience. This has been my main driver throughout my life. This lifelong interest in healthy, nutritious food, sustainability and social justice, combined with my work and academic experience prepared me to take the step of starting this social enterprise. One of the main objectives of The Hub G63 is to bring services and resources to my community, so that we can live sustainably.
I was involved in setting up another Community Interest Company in a neighbouring town, but I quickly realised that I should be working in and supporting the community that I live in. That is what pushed me to set up The Hub. I still have strong links with that CIC. In fact, we have formed a strong, supportive network of similar enterprises spanning West Dunbartonshire and Stirlingshire.
What did you find most challenging in setting up?
I find this a hard question because I love a challenge… but I think securing enough funding to do everything I wanted to do in the initial stages was tricky. However, this was also a lesson in pacing myself and starting small; translating my thoughts to a language that funders like and understand doesn’t come naturally to me, but there is a lot of help out there from Firstport and other organisations.
What are your plans for the future?
We have just started a new food growing project (The Grow Garden), where we will grow food to sell. We will donate a percentage of the money to food bank services.
We plan to build on the existing network of ultra-local food growing projects that we have, to support and learn from each other. We want to lead by example and provide a working template for other communities to look at and adapt. If we can change local food systems, this means regional and national food systems are changed too.
Do you have any tips for other social entrepreneurs?
Just go for it. Phone Firstport and get advice on first steps.
If you can, find a group of people who share your values and are motivated to take action around your vision. But if you can’t find those people, still just go for it! Once you are doing something other people will follow and get involved.
Don’t be disheartened by the seeming enormity of social and environmental problems, or people who say you can’t do it. You are bothering to stand up and make change – go for it!
The Hub G63 website is full of great information about the social enterprise’s work and progress!