Work Avenue has reached an exciting milestone, marking one year since the opening of our business hub in Finchley: Wohl Enterprise Hub (WE Hub), the new HQ for Work Avenue.

A year ago when we opened, the hub housed a tight-knit group of 15. Today we have 126 members, each of whom has contributed to what has become a vibrant community of like-minded entrepreneurs who support each other in their business journeys.

We set up WE Hub in line with Work Avenue’s goal of supporting people into employment or self-employment. We wanted to provide start-ups and entrepreneurs with a space in which they could thrive.

People often comment on the modern design of WE Hub, which stands out among the surrounding traditional red brick buildings. This contemporary feel is designed to be inspirational.

Success is often linked to state of mind, and people who first come to Work Avenue for help can often enter somewhat disheartened, particularly if their job hunt isn’t going smoothly.

Walking into a modern space, flooded with natural light and met by a brightly-coloured wall artwork that features words such as ‘dream’, ‘create’ and ‘success’, is uplifting and inspiring. Likewise, businesses that base themselves in a modern space, surrounded by forward-thinking people, are motivated to succeed and grow.

As part of our day-to-day work, last year we helped 788 people through career guidance, employability workshops and mock interview sessions. These training courses and workshops have all been held at the WeHub.

Mentoring has also played a significant role in our work. We believe opportunities are connected to people; our research has shown that start-ups are 3.5 times more likely to grow their customer base if they have helpful mentors.

We have matched 220 people to suitable mentors so far, who have used their expertise and experience to help small businesses develop different areas of their company.

WE Hub has also been the heart of some enlightening events last year. In 2016, our business events were attended by 479 people, while the employment events have been hugely popular, attended by more than 1,200 people.

In October we teamed up with Google’s Digital Garage and welcomed more than 200 businesses, freelancers and entrepreneurs, offering them advice on how to grow their businesses online at sessions by representatives from Digital Garage, Barclays Bank and Work Avenue.

In November we hosted our fifth annual Women in the Workplace event, which welcomed 120 delegates, who were given advice by a line-up of inspiring women and experts in their professional fields on various workplace topics.

Louise Jacobs, former CEO of the LJCC and vice chairman of the UJIA, and the most recent addition to Work Avenue’s trustee board, shared her top tips for networking, while our own Hannah Mindel spoke about how to turn an idea into a business.

Since founding Work Avenue, we have developed a simple model that delivers results and WE Hub, powered and managed by Work Avenue, has been a natural progression of our work supporting those needing a gentle push into employment and nurturing businesses into sustainable entities.

I’m extremely proud of everything we have achieved so far and look forward to welcoming more budding entrepreneurs and jobseekers through our doors.

More at www.wehub.org.uk