The Role of Coworking Spaces in Creating Enterprising Regions

A recent report produced by Enterprise Nation and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales reviews what makes for an enterprising region; a region where people can create and grow successful businesses. Here’s some of their findings and the role that coworking spaces can and should play in supporting this.

When asked what makes an area enterprising, 85% of respondents said ‘a buzz in the local entrepreneurial community’. Coworking spaces play a significant role in this; just having coworking spaces in a region will already begin to generate an entrepreneurial buzz as makers, creators and doers flock to them to work alongside like minded individuals to launch new and exciting businesses.

To ensure that this buzz isn’t short-lived, coworking spaces need to continually evolve their services to support the needs of their community. This could be switching studios for shared desks, or just hosting more events, talks and networking opportunities.

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The second most chosen characteristic for making an enterprising area is access to useful networking events, again something that coworking spaces can help to facilitate. Coworking spaces have access to space (obviously), and access to a network. Simply hosting a monthly meetup for all members will help to drive inclusivity, and increase opportunities for collaboration and cocreate.

To further build on this community spirit, coworking spaces can leverage their members’ skills to host workshops, demo nights or inspiring talks. Opening up these events to people from outside your coworking space will increase networking opportunities for their members, creating an extra value-added of that workspace over any other.

Respondents also cited good media coverage as important for creating an enterprising region. As a coworking space incubating young, exciting, creative businesses, there is an opportunity to become a go-to source of content for journalists. New companies joining a workspace, companies raising investment or launching products, or even demo nights, will all be of interest to local journalists focusing on business or entrepreneurship.

Young companies are always fighting to get press coverage, so a coworking space offering press opportunities to their members could have a competitive edge over other coworking spaces in the area.

Whilst it’s largely in the hands of local authorities and councils to help create an enterprising region, coworking spaces have a real opportunity to stimulate the region and create the entrepreneurial buzz necessary for the community to flourish.

You can read the entire report on enterprising regions here