By Ashley Orona
LYNWOOD — A husband-and-wife team opened one of the few communal working spaces for young entrepreneurs in Southeast Los Angeles in early November, aiming to make coworking resources for professionals based in a traditionally low-income region with a growing artistic and entrepreneurial community.
Rosario Rico and her husband Roberto Gama celebrated the grand opening of the SouthEast LA Hub Nov. 6 at 10231 Long Beach Blvd., where local residents can rent out a working space such as a desk, conference room or podcast room to complete their academic or professional work.
Rico and Gama started SouthEast LA Hub — SELA Hub for short — to cater to the growing number of artististic entrepreneurs in the area who have started online businesses and need a place to work and network with like-minded people without having to travel too far from home.
“There’s a lot of folks, especially the younger generation, who are really starting to start businesses online and they are really taking off in the digital world,” Rico said. “While they work independently and remotely, they also lack the opportunity to network with other like-minded folks.”
Many residents in Southeast Los Angeles live in multi-generational households and often do not have a quiet space to work at home. This has become even more challenging during the COVID pandemic as jobs and schools go online, limiting the amount of space people in a household may have to work.
To ensure people’s safety from the coronavirus, spots at SELA Hub are limited. Only a maximum of 11 people can be inside the space at the same time to ensure that everyone is six feet apart. They are also taking everyone’s temperature as they come in, encourage wearing masks and have several sanitizers out for use.
Residents and organizations have access to a space at the hub through monthly memberships that range from $100 to $400 and daily passes for $20. The memberships include access to the different rooms, workshops, parking spot, beverages and WiFi.
A coworking space like SELA Hub is rare in this area.
“You can’t find a co-working space within eight to 10 miles from here [and] the co-working industry are usually corporate,” Rico said. “You hear about WeWork and all these large corporate entities who run co-working spaces and they’re like in nice fancy buildings and they’re amazing but they typically target higher income folks and our goal here is to target the working-class community.”
Ashley Orona is a freelance reporter for Wave Newspapers who covers the East Los Angeles area. She can be reached at Oronash@gmail.com.