Sharing good for business

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Young entrepreneurs Cameron Richardson and Louise Evans meet in their temporary mobile office, Meccaspresso Cafe, within Classic Motorcycle Mecca, this week. Photo: Petrina Wright

OPERATORS of small and fledgling businesses in Invercargill will soon have a place to work with low overheads, the opportunity to network and the added advantage of no longer having to work in isolation, as the concept of co-working spaces comes to the city.

Two such spaces being set up in Invercargill’s CBD at present are WE Investments Ltd’s Hive and Studio 46, a collaboration between entrepreneurs freelancer Cameron Richardson and Lemon Creative director Louise Evans.

Both spaces will include hot desks for temporary use, permanent desks and individual offices with shared facilities to minimise businesses’ overheads.

WE Investments Ltd manager Ross Wensley is setting up a shared work space on the third floor of 5 The Crescent.

The co-working environment would attract operators of small or start-up businesses who had been working out of their homes and were feeling isolated, he said.

“It is good for start-up businesses because it keeps their costs really low.”

The open-plan space would include a shared reception area, printer and tea and coffee facilities, and businesses would have access to a boardroom or meeting room, unlimited Wi-Fi, file storage and a secure post office box number if needed.

Mr Richardson and Miss Evans are establishing a similar space in the CBD.

The pair are looking for a space suitable for about 20 start-up businesses. They hope to attract a broad range of businesses from social enterprise, creative and early-stage businesses.

“It’s about a cross-pollination of ideas,” Mr Richardson said.

Miss Evans said it was more than a shared space.

“This is more about community collaboration and organically networking when you are at work.”

They had been in talks with the Invercargill City Council, representatives from the Southland Regional Development Strategy, HW Richardson Group and others to find a suitable space. Many options had been presented to them, which they were now in the process of short-listing, they said.

Miss Evans said their requirements included a space which had a lot of natural light, a central city location, preferably on the ground floor, a meeting room and breakout areas.

If property owners had a suitable space available, or for more information, visit their Facebook page, Studio 46, or website, www.studio46.nz

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