2017 has been a truly exciting chapter for WeWork. Over the past year, we more than doubled our membership, expanded service offerings to support our member companies, and committed to positively impacting communities far beyond our walls. We are so grateful to see how our vision of connecting people through space, design, technology, and community is coming to life.
We opened our first location in New York City in 2010 with the mission of helping people create a life and not just a living. This month, we bid farewell to 2017 with a global community of more than 175,000 people who have built human connections across 64 cities and all industries through WeWork.
This year, we opened 90 buildings across the globe. We launched in new markets, including Dallas, Detroit, Charlotte, Houston, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Nashville, Raleigh, Buenos Aires, Melbourne, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Toronto, Vancouver, Beijing, Bogotá, Paris, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai, Haifa, and Manchester. We are excited to welcome more creators into our community in 2018 when we open in Barcelona, Madrid, Lima, and Tokyo.
Southeast Asia-based workspace provider Spacemob joined the WeWork family this summer, and we launched our first Singapore location together on December 1.
Our membership grew from 80,000 members in 2016 to more than 175,000 members this year. Enterprise doubled to over 1,000 member companies. The WeWork team is now more than 4,000 employees strong, and we are proud that women represent over 50% of our workforce. The women of WeWork are an integral part of our success.
At the beginning of 2017, we launched the WeWork Creator Awards to celebrate individuals and companies who are driving real change. We traveled to seven cities around the world and recognized over 150 innovative companies that were impacting their communities. Hundreds of creators shared their stories, like winner Mursal Hedayat, who channeled her family’s struggle as immigrants into founding her groundbreaking language school, Chatterbox.
In November, through a true grassroots effort piloted by an employee, WeWork partnered with the International Rescue Committee and pledged to hire 1,500 refugees over the next five years. Fifty new team members have joined us since launching this initiative, and they have received outstanding feedback from their teams and our members. We are eager to see the amazing talent we will unleash through this program.
Nationally, we are proud to have launched our Veterans in Residence program. In partnership with Bunker Labs, a nonprofit that helps military veterans and their families start and grow businesses, WeWork provides space, mentorship, and community to veterans in 10 U.S. cities. Trevor Shirk, an Army veteran, saw his own company, Strattex Solutions, more than double in size after joining the Veterans in Residence program. In addition to the program itself, WeWork is committed to supporting those who have served, and will hire 1,500 veterans over the next five years.
Since embarking on this journey, we are inspired by the growing number of incredible stories we are able to share about the impact our community, spaces, and resources have on people’s lives. They serve as a powerful reminder that each of us has the ability and responsibility to contribute to something greater than ourselves.
As we continued to drive our mission forward, we were thrilled to increase our offerings and welcome more partners into the WeWork family in 2017.
Our WeWork Wellness program, started in 2016, opened its first physical location in New York City. Rise by We is WeWork's idea of the ultimate wellness club, using social fitness to elevate mind, body, and spirit.
We also launched and grew the WeWork Services Store, our integrated hub that streamlines the process of finding, managing, and purchasing the business services, applications, and software that our members need.
Innovative technology is at the forefront of how we create our spaces and deliver our product offerings. This year, we continued to develop and implement tech-driven solutions, like integrating Amazon’s Alexa for Business in our conference spaces. We also acquired companies that are experts in their crafts. Both Unomy, a sales and marketing intelligence platform, and Fieldlens, a leading project management application in the building industry, allow WeWork to do what we do thoughtfully and more efficiently.
We also welcomed to the WeWork family Meetup, a global network that connects people in real life to create community for everyone. WeWork and Meetup share a vision of the power of bringing people together, and together we will use technology to create new and innovative ways of building community. This year, WeWork hosted more than 33,000 events in our spaces around the world. And over 100,000 people attended a Meetup in a WeWork location. We are excited to expand upon this incredible synergy and welcome more of the Meetup community to join us in our spaces next year.
With our vision to humanize the way people work, live, and connect, we also invested this November in The Wing, whose mission to “create space for women to advance their pursuits and build community” closely aligns with our own. This investment, WeWork’s largest to date, will help fuel The Wing’s expansion around the world, connecting even more women to their vibrant, progressive, strong community.
This year, we dedicated ourselves to supporting educational endeavors and lifelong personal growth.
Our Co-founder and CEO Adam Neumann graduated from Baruch College this June, after beginning his college journey in 2002. Through those 15 years, Adam met his wife Rebekah and WeWork Co-founder and Chief Culture Officer Miguel McKelvey, and together they engrained the value of learning from others through meaningful experiences into WeWork’s foundation.
We acquired Flatiron School, a leading coding academy and programming school whose mission is to enable a better life through education. In the future, we will expand Flatiron’s physical footprint to select WeWork locations, and we will find innovative ways to connect our larger WeWork community with Flatiron to explore different learning and business opportunities.
This fall, we announced WeGrow, a school that will focus on a conscious, entrepreneurial approach to early childhood education to unleash every child’s superpowers. The school will be based out of WeWork’s New York headquarters and nurture the development of each child’s creative spirit and reinforce our company’s belief that we are all students for life.
At the core of WeWork’s philosophy is our desire to do more, learn more, and positively impact society by leveraging the power of human connections. Each day, all around the world, we are inspired by our growing community of creators, the passion that drives their ideas, and the collaboration we are able to witness.
2017 was a milestone year for our team. We end this year stronger and wiser, with new partners who not only strengthen the impact we have, but share the belief that our actions speak louder than our words. We’re encouraged by what we have accomplished so far, and we are excited to continue on this adventure to humanize the way we work, live, and connect with the world.