Twenty recent young immigrants (ages 20 to 35) will showcase their small businesses at the Secret Tel Aviv Expo 2014, taking place November 27-28 at Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Center Gallery.
The event is not only a testament to the creative strength of the many new Israeli citizens from English-speaking countries and Europe – a five-year record of 24,800 in 2014. It also points up the amazing success of Secret Tel Aviv itself.
Started less than five years ago by British immigrant Jonathan Stark, Secret Tel Aviv has become THE online hub where tens of thousands of English-speakers in the White City turn for up-to-the-minute info on housing, events, jobs, dating, volunteer opportunities … every imaginable aspect of daily life, plus a whole lot more, in their native tongue.
Want to know where to buy canned pumpkin in Tel Aviv? Post on Secret Tel Aviv. Curious about new restaurants? Check Secret Tel Aviv. Not sure how much to tip the waiter or stylist? Find out on Secret Tel Aviv. Seeking a roommate or a pet? Ditto.
Speaking from his office at Secret Garden Media, Stark – a newlywed 34-year-old business and management consultant — tells ISRAEL21c that sometime after his 2008 arrival from Manchester, he decided to set up Secret Tel Aviv in the style of Secret London and Secret New York. (Another entity has since established Secret Jerusalem on Facebook as well.)
“It was all about content,” Stark says. “I was sharing my secrets about events and places. Now it’s morphed into a huge mishmash of stuff. I let it evolve naturally and it grew nicely. We now have about 50,000 members; two and a half thousand new ones every month. We do a lot of moderation in terms of members and content, to try to keep a positive vibe.”
The Secret Tel Aviv wall gets about 200 posts daily and a thousand responses. Stark now maintains a website, e-zine and Facebook page, transitioning Secret Tel Aviv into a business from a hobby. ISRAEL21c content is often featured in the magazine.
At the expo, personal trainers, artists, executive recruiters, matchmakers and wedding planners are scheduled to be among the presenters. The Dizengoff Center, as a partner in the event, is making rooms available for free exercise and dance classes, business workshops and other extras.
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