Entrepreneurs and freelancers are often faced with the problem of space for operation and cash to cover costs either in the beginning stages or somewhere along the line. In Accra, as can be said for many other cities, while the space is available, it is too expensive for many start-ups. One solution to this problem is co-working.
Co-working is when independent professionals share a common setting. This kind of work space is often patronized by self-employed individuals or in some cases, by large companies who are in need of a little extra space.
How it works (the offers)
Co-working spaces usually offer private offices that may be rented for people who wish to have an enclosed space to call theirs, or a seat in an open area, with access to essential workspace tools. Some co-working spaces offer memberships packages, with exclusive offerings.
Benefits; why should you consider co-working?
Co-working spaces are a low-cost alternative to the high rent or leasing costs of office spaces. With an affordable monthly or even daily rent, business owners have access not only to seating area, but stable internet and utilities, as well as office services such as printing and copying. It is an entire office with none of the commitment, distractions or responsibility attached to managing a space of your own or working from home.
Prime real estate areas were formally hard to acquire by start-ups and freelancers because of a high capital requirement. However, co-working spaces provide accessibility to potential clients, as they are usually situated in such central areas. Co-working spaces usually provide meeting rooms that can be used for meetings and private discussions.
Co-working spaces are typically occupied by individuals or groups working to innovate and fill gaps in varied industries. This makes for a hub of innovative business people who may interact, trade ideas, and broaden their networks, making each other better in the process. There is an African proverb that says, “If you want to go quickly, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.” That is the sense of community co-working spaces creates.
Co-working Spaces in Ghana
Even though co-working has existed in the world for many years, it is very recent in Ghana. Nevertheless, once the idea took hold, the industry has grown steadily. The last five years has seen the number of co-working spaces in Accra increase from two to twenty. The self-employed and freelancer community of Accra is expanding and there are more businesses than there is easily accessible and convenient space. The creation of co-working spaces provides support to the community and encourages the innovation and sustainability that is needed in the country.
As previously stated, co-working brings many different skills and resources together to form one community. It presents a learning opportunity where a person adds to their skills set by learning from another’s successes and failures.
The different individuals who frequent co-working spaces represent fresh minds who have not spent many hours contemplating the same business tasks. The absence of ‘office politics’ makes the space a center of diverse and creative opinions, ideation, impressions and behaviors; an invaluable resource to any entrepreneur.
Owners of co-working spaces further encourage the growth of these businesses through events such as the Shedtalk, where industry professionals are able to pass on knowledge gained to upcoming members of their industries. For people who are new to the industry, such events are important to learn as much as possible about navigating their way through the industry.
Co-working spaces have proven to be such a successful hub for innovation that large corporations have begun to set up co-working spaces for employees. The result is higher productivity. The co-working industry is a growth industry, one with endless opportunities for diversification and improvement.
By: Adwoa Adobea Armah