Community workspaces – fire and air for a new wave of entrepreneurs

Community workspaces – fire and air for a new wave of entrepreneurs

Start-ups launched in UK cities are being jet-propelled by a network of Enterprise Hubs, Business Support Communities and Start Up Loan delivery partners  - the unsung heroes in the fight to Build Back Better.

Forget the rat: 2020 was the year of the Start-up. Record numbers of UK businesses were launched from spare bedrooms and garages during the pandemic, and whilst Covid-19 hijacked lives and livelihoods, it also gifted thousands of entrepreneurs the time to take their first steps into self employment.

Guiding those steps with critical funding, advice and support were the Enterprise Hubs, Business Support Communities and Start Up Loan delivery partners across the UK — the unsung heroes in the fight to Build Back Better.

UK Government has recognised the critical role that entrepreneurs will play in the country’s economic recovery after Covid-19. A Taskforce on Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform (TIGRR) led by George Freeman MP, is committed to stimulating business dynamism and innovation, and ensuring that businesses can scale up. A key way that the enterprise support sector supports these efforts and drives entrepreneurial success is the provision of co-working space; enabling “people who want to start businesses actually start businesses, in the right way.” — Davies Okeowo, Birmingham Enterprise Community.

North East Workspace offer a secure bike shed and shower facilities to tenants

North East Workspace offer a secure bike shed and shower facilities

In this fascinating blog by Project North East, Sam Whitehouse, CEO and co-Founder of LightOx explains what attracted him to the North East Workspace.

The easy-in easy-out monthly terms are great for start-ups. It’s an easily accessible venue to meet potential funders, experts and partners from across the North East.

In these socially distanced co-working spaces, business plans are breathed into life and first-time founders begin their entrepreneurial journey with a trained business advisor beside them.

You’ve got the spark, who can help you light the touch paper?

A host of National Enterprise Network members offer serviced office space across England, in which entrepreneurs can surround themselves with likeminded people and build their networks in a creative and supportive environment.

The shared Business Hub at MENTA in Suffolk - a member of NEN

The shared Business Hub at MENTA in Suffolk - a member of NEN

Fire needs air

For many of us, home-working creates a sense of “always being at work”, and whilst this M.O. has significant downsides longer-term, in the short-term it lends itself well to the intense period of passion-fuelled, high-energy work needed to get a business ready for launch. According to TED.com “the real challenge is keeping people from working too hard and helping them fight the burnout that could turn a short-term productivity gain into a long-term drain”. But how do you stop your own burnout when you’ve just taken the leap to become your own boss?

The solution: find your nearest NEN Member and settle in to an incubator alongside like-minded entrepreneurs.

Take the business you built in your bedroom, out of your bedroom

Colchester Business Enterprise Agency offer "agile" workspace

Colchester Business Enterprise Agency offer “agile” workspace

Outside of your home, away from distractions, you can step fully into your power and purpose as a new business owner in an enterprise support hub. And if you have any wobbles along the way, an army of business advisors are waiting to offer advice.

Search our directory to find an NEN Member in your region and read this success story from North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) about a “one-man-band” who now has a fast-growing business and is creating “scores of jobs.”

Like you, NEN members can work remotely. Business support is available over video calls if you don’t fancy a face to face meeting. Not sure which support hub is right for you? Contact National Enterprise Network and they’ll hook you up.

NEN are new to this slick, minimalist working environment but we’ve made ourselves at home between the well-s p a c e d seating, comfortable sound-proof booths and full-height glass doors leading onto a terrace which overlooks the city. The brightly-coloured covers of magazines and books shine out at us from the shelves – written by, and for, entrepreneurs.

We are surrounded by designers, thinkers, dreamers, makers, experimenters, starters. The very people our members exist to support. We’ve found our tribe.

Amy Knight in Spaces MK

This blog was written by Amy Knight in Spaces MK

The co-founders of Jam Jam Cards met Amy in the 3rd floor lounge of Spaces MK and shared their journey:

This time last year I was sleeping on an airbed on his floor and we had one computer between us. We’ve just hit £100k turnover and expect to double it this year.

There are countless success stories waiting to be uncovered across the network as we unite the enterprise support sector. Watch. This. Space(s).