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=SPACE strives to create a unique culture and positive sharespace. Headquartered in the City of Newark, our sharespace provides resources for startups, coaching for tech companies and an ecosystem for artists to share their work and thrive. We offer programming to help build, grow and scale businesses, with the vast majority (>85%) of that programming being free. Founded in 2015 as a pop-up experience, =SPACE has gone from a 900 square foot space to over 12,000 square feet (a growth factor of 13 in 5 years), in the heart of Newark. We are one of the very few BIPoC/Queer owned share spaces in the state and our facilities include amenities that focus on our community’s needs including various sized suites, dedicated desks, a state-of-the-art podcast studio, multimedia studio and a 1,200 square foot event space.

This past year we did a great deal of outreach in collaboration with organizations like Wells Fargo, Local Support Initiative Corporation (LISC), and Verizon to help small business owners develop skills in everything from risk assessment to grant readiness. ES has always strived to help them mitigate any disruptive external issues like climate change and pandemics and more. We did so via pitch competitions for start-ups to coding classes for young adults who are able to go from being unemployed to earning over 70K a year, every business decision we make is based on what our community needs first. These resources are important for our community to access to ensure that they can continue to thrive to continue to provide services to this community, continue to pay their staff, and build their legacies.

=SPACE’s social impact mission is to close the wealth & knowledge gap in ownership by providing programming and tangible resources not only to our members, but the larger community. We are a safes pace for people who are often bypassed, unseen and undervalued.

Event Space
Our event space has hosted large-scale convenings like talks on home ownership in Newark with LISC, and roundtables with the NJEDA on Black businesses in the state. Our event space is where movement happens for our community.

Podcast Studio
In Season 03 of Ras in 60 we learned about our city’s movements. Mayor Ras J Baraka has hosted guests like Deputy Mayor Allison Ladd, Superintendent Roger Leon, and Philanthropic Liaison Kevin Callaghan all captured in our podcast.

Multimedia Studio
We were proud to host so many creatives in our multimedia studio, from videographers to Black founded Stock photography company POC Stock, they are dedicated to showing communities of color in an authentic and genuine way.

Digital Classroom
Our digital classroom was developed to be an educational space for innovative minds to share their knowledge. You can host anything from business courses to mental wellness workshops.

2022 has seen us activate our 19,000 sq. ft. facility in new and amazing ways, from converting 20 suites into boutiques for our MarketSPACE experience, to sound bowl and reiki healing on our second floor. Our digital classroom has held everything from art therapy events for Newark youth to cpr certification courses. We have hosted private art exhibitions and intense community roundtables. The impact is seen in every individual that leaves with new tools, community leaders who feel more connected, and entrepreneurs that gain more wealth. Our programming is about change-making through experiences.

We have increased our connection with educational anchors like the New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII) to provide business classes for budding entrepreneurs. ES has built stronger small businesses by organizing resiliency courses with LISC to help them better prepare for any disasters or pandemics. We have tapped into local talent and helped new founders learn everything from business certification to pitch deck curation.

Other INNOVATE® Ecosystems