Every organization (be it a business, NGO, or in any other form) has a secret sauce that reflects its raison d’etre and provides the basis for its continuous growth. At uMake, our community members are at the heart of uMake’s business model. Everything we do is not only aimed at enhancing their work experiences, but also creating an inclusive environment where uMakers can inspire positive change, create a lasting impact and grow stronger together.
uMake began as a co-working space that offers flexible office space to a wide range of clients primarily young entrepreneurs, freelancers, remote workers, and students. In addition to the workspace, uMake has been very active in organizing cultural and social networking events aimed at raising awareness about the pivotal role of entrepreneurial thinking in unlocking the true potential of the Palestinian economy. Since its first day of operation in early 2018, uMake has been able to overcome challenges and go from strength to strength against all odds while consistently upgrading its offerings to include services that go beyond the actual ‘physical’ co-working space such as mentorship, advisory, accelerator programs, hosting of virtual conferences and several social impact initiatives. As everyone knows, 2020 was a very challenging year due to the health and economic risks associated with the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and the uneasy subsequent lockdowns. Yet, despite all insecurities, uMake managed to successfully ride the storm and emerge more resilient from the crises by harnessing existing digital tools, relocating to a new office, and most importantly growing its vibrant community. In fact, it’s this very community that provides the key factor in the equation of uMake’s resilience and commitment to success and impact!
uMake Impact Law: (Community) = f (Inspiration X Creativity X Growth).
In his recent book “Out-Innovate: How Global Entrepreneurs from Delhi to Detroit Are Rewriting the Rule of Silicon Valley’’, venture capitalist Alexandre Lazarow explores the unique ways in which innovators outside Silicon Valley (SV) are building their companies by focusing on impact, resilience, and sustainability. Importantly, he argues that rather than being disruptors of legacy industries as the norm in Silicon Valley, out-innovators – who operate in more challenging ‘frontier’ ecosystems – tend to be creators of non-existent industries by innovating novel business models with embedded social and economic impact at the heart of their offerings. Unlike Silicon Valley’s ‘growth at all costs’ mentality, frontier innovators have to deal with a plethora of economic, social, and political challenges that impede their progress. Frankly, under such unfavorable conditions, frontier innovators must be creators and builders who provide solutions to urgent development needs and utilize their talent and know-how to unlock the untapped potential of their economies.
Anyone who followed the news over the past 70 years would easily recognize that Palestine is indeed facing many daunting challenges and its nascent entrepreneurial scene could be classified as a ‘frontier’ ecosystem. At uMake, we meet the frontier innovators that Lazarow describes in his book on a daily basis. They are the uMakers who shape our community and influence it through their diverse experiences, skillsets, and ambitions. Each member of this vibrant community is a leader, innovator, and changemaker. Regardless of their differences, they all have one thing in common: to make a positive impact and as a result, build a better future for themselves and their society.
Not surprisingly, visitors to uMake can immediately sense the positive vibes in the space, the family-like relationships between the members, and their sheer desire to make a meaningful difference. Taking a tour of the space (either physically or virtually) can inspire you to become an outside-the-box thinker like Lama Amr, Executive Director of BuildPalestine, who has an infectious passion for building a global community to support social innovation projects in Palestine. Working next to Baker Bozeyeh and Usama Hanini, co-founders of Flowless, can induce you to create a lasting impact on people’s lives through the use of technology. Striking a conversation with Hamzeh Ghosheh, co-founder and CEO of Naviatx, can help you realize the power of determination in your growth journey.
We are thrilled to reveal to you our Secret Sauce and we cannot be any prouder of our community members who undoubtedly represent the key differentiator in uMake’s ultimate vision of becoming “The Space of Infinite Possibilities where Changemakers Inspire, Create and Grow”.