New spaces for supporting entrepreneurship? Co-working spaces in the Welsh entrepreneurial landscape

Publication by Anita Fuzi, Nick Clifton & Gareth Loudon in Sheffield, United Kingdom.
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Abstract in English:

Co-working is a broad term that has been rapidly expanding in recent years. The term
refers to the practice of working ìalongside each otherî in a flexible and shared office
environment where desks can be rented on a different basis and where like-minded
professionals form a community. In recent years co-working spaces have been
successfully developed in cities such as London and New York to encourage
collaboration, creativity, idea sharing, mentoring, networking, socializing and
generating new business opportunities (as well as keeping costs to a minimum level)
for small firms, start-up companies and freelancers who typically lack the resources
of large organizations. However, co-working spaces are relatively new in South Wales
and not well established yet. Little is known about how these spaces actually work to
support the entrepreneurial activities of their member businesses, what potentials
they might have to support graduate entrepreneurship and to what extent they can be
considered as policy interventions in the Welsh context. In this paper, the underlying
idea is that co-working spaces can support member businesses in their development
processes by helping them to build networks and create synergies through
collaboration in a creative work environment. The main aim of the paper is to provide
an empirical illustration of how co-working spaces can stimulate the soft aspect of
entrepreneurship (e.g. collaboration, interaction and networking) that support the activities of their members in South Wales. Employing a combined methodology of secondary data gathering, site visits and semi-structured interviews along with questionnaire survey, the paper evaluates two Welsh co-working space models. The results imply that the selected spaces represent different configurations in terms of community support, organizational purpose and target audience. However, both models provide favourable environment for business to flourish.

Open Access? Yes

Book Title The 8th International Conference for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Regional Development
Publication Year 2015

ISSN/ISBN ISBN 978-0-9932801-0-8

English | Discipline Management