Making an Impact at the Hub!

28th March 2022

Posted In: FYI

Ireland’s first purpose-built fully inclusive remote working hub for people with disabilities officially opened last Friday, March 25th. The ‘Impact Hub@Crann’ is located at the Crann Centre in Ballincollig, Cork and provides a range of life-changing services and supports for people with disabilities.

Sponsored by AIB, Cork City Council and the Open Doors Initiative, the new hub will enable people living with disabilities, such as spina bifida and cerebral palsy, to better participate in the world of work, enjoy the benefits of inclusive co-working and create business and employment opportunities.

Entrepreneur Sarah Dullea, who is a wheelchair user, and acted as MC for the launch event spoke of how in 2019, she was struggling to find an accessible location for her beauty therapy business when the Crann Centre gave her the opportunity to locate in their facility. She spoke of the impact this had for her and how she was excited to see other people with a disability now having an opportunity to work and collaborate in the Impact Hub at Crann.

Developed in partnership with the Ballincollig Business Association and the Rubicon Centre at Munster Technological University (MTU), the hub features a 17-desk facility with high-speed broadband, a fully accessible working environment and ample free parking in a peaceful three-acre setting which also includes a leisure space, fitness area and inclusive playground.

The new facility is an opportunity to build a like-minded community committed to inclusion in action and will add to the infrastructure in some of Cork’s largest residential areas which are also home to major employers in technology, science, and services. Businesses located within the Impact Hub will benefit from tailored business supports and mentoring from Cork city and county Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) and the mentoring ecosystem at the Rubicon at MTU.

Kate Jarvey Chair and Founder of the Crann Centre said: ‘At a time when just 36.5 per cent of people (aged 15-64) with a disability are at work, compared to 72.8 per cent of people without a disability it is important that we all take proactive steps to bring about change. Here at Crann, with the generous support and commitment of our partners, we have developed our Impact Hub with the aim of ensuring that people with disabilities in this region have the opportunity to participate in the new world of work which is about co-working, collaboration and remote working.’

Jeanne McDonagh, Chief Executive of the Open Doors Initiative says that: ‘As a business NGO whose members have an ethos of inclusivity and diversity, we are delighted to assist in this work and offer opportunities to people with disabilities to fully partake in the workforce. The Impact Hub creates an equitable space for everyone in employment and we look forward to its success.’

President of MTU, Professor Maggie Cusack, ‘MTU is delighted to partner with the Impact Hub at the Crann Centre, to deliver Entrepreneurship Supports which will be Inclusive, regional in outlook and allow all members of society to have the opportunity to explore their dreams in this new entrepreneurial setting.  Already the partnership has provided opportunities for the Crann Centre, MTU and the Rubicon to work together on the Impact Hub and the Innovation Challenge.’