With Russia's assault in Ukraine continuing for more than a month, this free-spirited country's brave coworking spaces are making headlines for the guts and power to oppose violence and develop goodness and grace, not for the unique job they do. Despite the threat, these spaces are determined on keeping their doors open and continuing to serve their communities and country.
This guest post is written by Andrew Horbachov. He is an SEO specialist at andcards, specializing in link building and studying germanic languages, interested in coworking software and its impact on user experiences at flexible workspaces.
The Creative States team has been actively involved in humanitarian aid and the volunteer movement from the beginning of the war. Today, every member of the community has the ability and desire to help. There are no concerns about the strength of the community surrounding the Creative States, because one of the virtues that binds those brave individuals together is the culture of sharing:
"We are helping many people now—from Kharkiv IT specialists who are raising funds to defend the city, to a team of Ukrainian mountain climbers who provide all the necessary stuff to the reconnaissance group of the southern direction. We help to get the result and not the loud headlines. Meanwhile, Creative States locations are closed. After the victory, we will rethink a lot. We will upgrade the infrastructure, and create new standards. We must be prepared for a long recovery process. But first, we need to win,” — says Ilia Kenigshtein, CEO and founder of Creative States.
Two warehouses were built on the workspace's property. Individually tailored deliveries for retired and disabled people, large families, refugees, and low-income persons who are physically unable to purchase food are addressed in the first. People simply write to Platforma on social media to seek assistance. The second warehouse is used as a hub of the central humanitarian headquarters. It collaborates with schools, restaurants, and kitchens on Dnipro's left bank.
“Platforma has already become the center for humanitarian aid in Desnianskyi district. We have also started cooperating with the Kyiv City State Administration and we are constantly expanding our capabilities. Our humanitarian center will do everything possible to help everyone who needs it! This is our battlefield and our contribution to the common victory.” — Maria Kravchuk, CMO of Platforma
The coworking space of the K15 business center was only preparing to open its doors when Russian invaders meanly attacked Ukraine. A huge number of people who had no place to work came to Ternopil, so the hub decided to open up in an emergency.
There is a Center of Entrepreneurs Support Diia.Business in Ternopil on the same floor as the coworking space. So, K15 joined forces with the center and started its operation. This is the best cooperation model because entrepreneurs can work at the K15 coworking space and receive free business consultations and join events at Diia.Business Ternopil.
“Volunteers or those who defend Ukraine on the information battlefield can use our workspace absolutely free of charge. Since K15 is the only coworking space in Ternopil, and now there are a lot of people who want to join the community, we are creating convenient and comfortable workstations for both residents and migrants. We also want to support those who can’t pay for desks, so we offer them to volunteers for free and participate in the andcards’ initiative of suspended desk, which can be paid by any person for a volunteer.” — Oksana Kachurivska, Head of Diia.Business Center for Entrepreneurship Support in Ternopil
The unique case of Futura Hub is that its team not only helps refugees and provides humanitarian aid to Ukrainian people affected by the war. They also continue to grow their business and even started a new location in the very heart of Lviv on March 18, with the most important amenity being a bomb shelter with excellent mobile and Internet connections, which allows customers not to interrupt their work during air alerts and stay safe.
“We combine our normal operation as a coworking space with a refugee shelter set up in our lecture hall. It can accommodate about 25-30 people. We have already hosted many families from Kharkiv, Sumy, Kyiv and Kyiv region. We also provide humanitarian aid to the Ridni Charitable Foundation. In addition to their usual care for children from low-income families and orphans, they now help transport kids from destroyed and bombarded cities to safe shelters in Western Ukraine and Europe. We buy them food, medicine, hygiene products, and everything they need.” — Iryna Hrydova, Coworking Community Administrator at FuturaHub, Lviv
Cherdak's team began taking migrants from the country's east and south as early as the opening days of the war. It began with a small group of 20, 40, or 60 persons, but soon grew to hundreds! They build up coworking spaces, schools, and offices for refugees. Food was provided by the city's restaurateurs, and volunteers provided clothing and other necessities. The shelter centers were organized with the support of friends, partners, and residents of the coworking space.
"Our main business, coworking, is experiencing hard times. After all, constant air alarms and the danger of airstrikes do not allow residents to deeply focus on work. So far, most of our coworking space is empty at the moment and waiting for better times. We believe that our country will win this war and that coworking services will be in full swing very soon." — Feliks Volkov, the founder of Cherdak
BeeWorking is a beautiful coworking network in Kyiv. Ilya Bezruchko, space CEO and co-founder together with the team was working on doubling the number of locations when the war broke out and messed up the deadlines of this brilliant growth plan.
Instead of greeting new customers, BeeWorking had to become a fortress to protect its members and staff. Their main goal now is to save the community and keep the team. However, Ilya makes the best of things and hopes to get his business back on track soon and continue to bring his plans to life.
If you want to get more information about these coworking spaces, you can check out this article for exclusive interviews with coworking space owners: Ukrainian Coworking Spaces in the Firing Line
Let's show support for these amazing coworking spaces by sharing this post on social media and making a donation if you can. We can ensure that the Ukrainian coworking community remains strong and contributes to the country's reconstruction if we work together.