Co-working Space: Catalyzing the Culture of Entrepreneurship

Demand for co-working spaces has been gaining traction around the world since its introduction in the US in 1999. The increasing trend towards entrepreneurship, over the last decade, has further precipitated demand for these co-working spaces. According to Deskmag (Co-working magazine), there are 2,150 co-working spaces worldwide, 1000+ of which are located in U.S. (a number that is growing rapidly).

Over the last five years, the co-working spaces have been gaining acceptability among users, especially due to increasing costs associated with renting out independent offices. These spaces also act as a hub for sharing ideas and building network which are essential for any entrepreneur. Due to possible synergies, the number of co-working space users have increased exponentially over the years, increasing from 9,900 in 2009 to 82,000 in 2012.

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Source: 2nd Annual Global Co-working Survey report

Internationally, co-working spaces have been offering a number of values to its clients, which include–low cost, convenience, flexibility and community of co-workers. Alongside, many co-working spaces regularly offer courses and workshops for improving business management skills of entrepreneurs.

A detailed survey has been conducted by Deskmag on co-working space users, which reveals snippets of the value to be derived from co-working spaces. Resulting consumer insights are presented below:co-working 3
The Main benefit of co-working space, according to the survey, is the opportunity to interact with like minded people on a regular basis. These interactions pave the way for fostering innovative ideas which may result in ground breaking new products. Other perceived benefits include: knowledge sharing, Low costs, flexible work time, random discoveries & opportunities etc.

The revenue for a typical co-working space comes predominantly from desk charges, while the other sources include meeting space rent, event space, food & beverage and tickets for events. Survey results show that desk charges, on average, constitute 61% of total revenue. While meeting and event space contribute 19% of revenue between them.

Co-Working Space Market in Bangladesh

Bangladesh has recently caught up with the co-working space fever. Over last couple of years, number of spaces have cropped up catering the needs of entrepreneurs. These co-working spaces in Dhaka are geographically dispersed ranging from The Wave in Banani, In-House in Dhanmondi and Hub Dhaka in Mirpur.

Popularity of co-working spaces is mainly propelled by rising rent for commercial and residential properties. With increasing urban population, price and rent of properties are expected to shoot up further. Hence, co-working spaces will prove a cost effective alternative for fledgling entrepreneurs. Turning Bangladesh into a hub for entrepreneurial activities will require a lot more co-working spaces and to this end, government support will be imperative.

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