The Hub for Expats is closing. After eight years of being the living room for expats in Eindhoven, this venue is closing its door for good.
The main reason is the uncertainty of being profitable in the near future. The coronavirus outbreak, as well as the insecurity around the availability of the location on Vestdijk, have played a role in this.
The Hub was run by volunteers for seven years. At that time it was headed by founders, Joost van Dijck and Lin Pender. In 2017, a new direction was chosen. By changing its challenging, unstable course, it was supposed to turn the tide in generating funds.
After a few years of multiple efforts, and changing teams, the Tilburg Bank15 entered the scene in 2019. They were supposed to stimulate social entrepreneurship. It all took off to a promising restart. Slowly, people and events started filling the ‘expats living room’ at 25 Vestdijk again.
No chance of making money
In this fragile state, the coronavirus pandemic seriously affected business. There’s also no expectation of raising any income in the near future and, therefore, no prospect of recovery. The Board sees immediately dissolving The Hub Foundation and the collaboration with Bank15 as a realistic necessity.
Jerry Opier, Bank15’s founder says, ”The risk of hoping and waiting became too large. This corona crisis has hit us, as well as the rest of the hospitality industry, hard. Our period in the Hub was unfortunately short, but it’s brought us a lot. We got to know many people of various organisations; partners with whom we could possibly continue to work with in the future. We’ll stay around in Eindhoven, that’s for sure.”
The VDMA area in which The Hub’s situated will be soon be developed into a large residential, business, and leisure zone. It was unclear how long The Hub could occupy the old Van Der Meulen Ansems garage.
When asked, Fenne Verhoeven how she feels about this, she says, “On one side, it’s very sad. We’ve only been there for just more than six months. But there are many other people involved who’ve been active in, and for, the Hub for many years. But I’m realistic, and this is the best choice. To continue would only cause more damage.” Fenne is Marketing and Operations at Bank15, and has been running The Hub for the last year.
The Hub Foundation’s played an important role for expats since 2012. They’ve supported internationals coming to live in or near Eindhoven. Their aim was to make expats feel at home in their new living environment. They also supported these people in forming connections with the local community.
Weekly events, ranging from language classes to moms and toddlers groups, to personal development workshops and stand-up comedy and game nights were held. Improv Jams and Music with Strangers were born there. Large events like the Latino Carnival, Expat Fair, Eindhoven News’ ten-year-anniversary were well attended by the expat community.
Hundreds, or rather, thousands of internationals found their first friends in The Hub after they moved to the knowledge city of Eindhoven.
Bas van de Kieft’, The Hub Foundation’s Chairperson says, “There’s just one thing left to do. That is to thank the many volunteers and organisations that have supported The Hub with the utmost effort and enthusiasm over the past few years.”