Where freelancers, startups party 24x7
You have a business idea and have even raised some money for your dream startup, but without a proper space to work, the business may run aground.
But, most startups tend to be cash-strapped initially, and hence unable to afford to rent, let alone own, a full-fledged office straightaway.
Such startups are a global phenomenon now, and are particularly ubiquitous in urban China. To meet their needs, the commercial property industry has invented co-work spaces, in line with the trend of the sharing economy
Take, for instance, the US-based co-work space firm WeWork’s site in central Shanghai.
Jasmine Jin walks into her six-desk, 12-square-meter office at 9 am, grabs a cup of freshly brewed coffee at the pantry, and joins her small army of co-workers of OneMoreCloset, a startup whose online platform allows users to share their fashion.
For co-founder Jin and her staff, the morning coffee, and many other conveniences that are part of the WeWork package, make a huge difference.
Operating from WeWork, OneMoreCloset has been in business with no more than a couple of wardrobes as its office fixtures. The cupboards hold fashion like all-black evening dresses to studded pants. All else — furniture, printers, internet, pantry, housekeeping, meeting rooms, so on — are provided by WeWork.
Thousands of entrepreneurs such as Jin and startups such as OneMoreCloset wouldn’t settle for anything less these days.
Jasmine Jin, a startup co-founder and a tenant at WeWork’s co-work site in Shanghai
Co-work spaces such as WeWork are not owned or rented by an individual or a company. Individuals or groups rent workstations or portions of office space on yearly, monthly, weekly or even daily subscriptions.
What’s more, when entrepreneurs from different paths work on the same premises, a vibrant community evolves. Connections develop. Networking ensues, which could help foster mutual growth. Conceivably, office-sharing could lead to success-sharing.
For instance, OneMoreCloset’s office sits opposite a onedesk office of a catering services provider. Next to them is a more spacious office portion that hosts tens of providers of financial services. A neighbor could be a potential customer or a future partner.
“The best part of being a tenant here is that you can make full use of various services, and you see opportunities everywhere. It’s like a 24-hour party of entrepreneurs. Everyone wants to know about everyone else’s business. ‘How
An entrepreneur works at his desk in the ATLAS Workplace in Guangzhou, Guangdong province. The co-work space will open a site in Shanghai this year.