Think HBR

Business growth hotspot expands

Dash 2
Harry Balding
In 1999, the Newcastle Steelworks closed, and 2000 locals lost their jobs.
Between 2013 and 2014, more than 2200 Hunter Valley-based mining jobs were lost.
In 2016, Inghams Cardiff closed and 350 locals lost their jobs. It’s fair to say, the Hunter Valley is pretty familiar with shrinking local workforces and profits. These events are newsworthy, and are (rightfully) covered in great depth by local media. One effect of this extensive coverage though, is a feeling of economic dread, and in some cases, hopelessness.
For the last 18 months, I’ve seen first-hand how some locals are addressing this economic quandary, by creating their own businesses and employing other locals too. These enterprising individuals are members of our coworking space in Charlestown, the Dantia Smart Hub, also known as DaSH.
These people are creating employment, generating economic agency and prosperity, and redefining our community’s economy.
DaSH’s members are either working for themselves, or working for innovative companies who see the benefits in co-locating in a ‘hub’ and having access to leading edge tech (like 400 Mbps WiFi), great facilities, and a top-notch entrepreneurial Community.
Our members include Look Who’s Charging, a financial tech startup who are growing so quickly they can’t find enough people to fill their open positions. There’s Liftango, who have recently left their corporate jobs to create their own corporate ride-sharing platform, and are having great success nationally (and soon, internationally!). Zimpleweb, who joined us as a Foundation Member in early 2016 have now added so many new employees that we had to expand our business into the vacant Ground Floor premises to accommodate their growth.
As well as these digital titans of the near-future, we have soletraders from many different industries, freelancers, and fledgling micro-businesses who are going out on their own for the first time.
Our members are many and varied, and they’re all worth getting to know.
We are very pleased that the growth of our members’ businesses has enabled us to grow as a business ourselves. As of August 2017, we have 75+ workspaces across two floors in Charlestown CBD, with a vision of rolling these co working hubs out all around Lake Macquarie.
If you’d like to join our Community and be part of this hotspot for business growth, visit
Harry Balding Harry Balding
works with startups and SME's who are working to scale up their operations. He is a Generalist, offering marketing, strategic and business development, and project management as part of his professional services.