The birth of coworking spaces – how to open a coworking space

The birth of coworking spaces - how to open a coworking space -
Coworking movement takes doubling every year since 2006. The latest survey of Deskmag reveals that, at present, there are over 1100 spaces worldwide. But how much it cost to open a coworking space? Where do they get the money its founders? And how many founders are needed to create a space? The second part of our series of Global Coworking Survey starts from the beginning: how to open a coworking space.

The second part of our series of Global Coworking Survey starts from the beginning: how to open a coworking space.

Most coworking spaces are premature babies, at least from the human point of view. The average space takes seven months to go from the embryo stage and opening its doors and if the new workspace plan to have more members from day one, the planning time increases significantly. Although the average is seven months, some spaces tear faster; a third opens its doors after only three months.

Most coworking spaces are born in September, October and January

While coworking spaces can open any day of the year, it is certain that some seasons are more fruitful than others. January and September are the strongest in terms of openings collaborative workspaces two months.It is the same in both hemispheres and thus October (spring) is the most popular month in the southern hemisphere. Meanwhile, in general, December is the quietest month, certainly for the holidays celebrated in almost all countries.

Normally three parents are required to raise a workspace

The average number of people involved in the foundation of an emerging coworking space is 2.8. Even in the case of small spaces with a capacity of fewer than ten members, the average number of founders is 2.2.However, one-third of small coworking spaces has a single founder. Large spaces with more than 50 coworkers have an average of four founders.

However, it seems that the number of responsible for space necessarily increase with the increase in the number of members. The spaces usually start small way responsible be adding as they grow their workspaces. Apparently, if a small space grows organically, need not necessarily increase its shareholder base in subsequent phases. Apparently, when a founder leaves a space not usually buscársele substitute. In any case, these developments are very individual for each space.

Approximately 80% of coworking spaces are established and managed by a private company; 13% are a non-profit organization while the rest are government institutions or any other entity. However, especially in the case of the smallest, coworking spaces they tend to work more like a non-profit organization.

The founders invest their own money

To open a coworking space is often needed more money than they can accumulate in a tip jar. The 2nd Global Coworking Survey founders asked how much had been spent on the opening of its space. In the US, the average cost was $ 58,000, while in the eurozone countries the cost of opening a coworking space it was around € 46500. At current exchange rates, the level of investment appears to be very similar in both regions.

As expected, it costs less than a large open a small space; the collaborative workspaces with a maximum capacity of 30 members cost about € 34500 or $ 45000, and the average expenditure increases as the size.

Where does the money come from? Two-thirds of the founders use their own capital. Many asked for help from friends or relatives (13%). Then there are bank loans (7%) and venture capital (5%). Despite its popularity in the media, crowdfunding seems to have an important role to contribute to the opening of coworking spaces, any government grants or loans.

The survey data show significant differences depending on the size of coworking space. Thus, large spaces are created with less capital of the founders, and more bank loans and private investment, while small spaces tend to attract more public funding.

Finding money: the biggest challenge of the founder

Like any good mother, we like to do some prenatal coworking spaces before the opening test, so we did some questions to the founders of spaces that are still in the planning stage. Their biggest problem by far (43%), is to find the initial capital.
Year in three areas of future work has concerned enough members to get their space. In third and fourth place in the list of problems it was to find a suitable location (23%) and co – founders collaborate (21%).

Possible conflicts with current co-founders and potential owners have fewer problems. When complications in finding a possible location arise, usually the problem is related to the rental price, rather than the fact that the owners do not understand the concept of coworking.

Coworking is all the rage in large and small cities, but less so in cities medium

The latest data on the foundation of new spaces is related to their location. In 2011, most new coworking spaces were opened in cities with over one million inhabitants, more frequently than in previous years! The second largest area of growth was in towns with fewer than 50,000 inhabitants, where more new coworking spaces in cities medians were opened.

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