In praise of the co-working space for startups

As more and more startups are appearing on the scene in Africa, many of them led by women, in particular millennials, the idea of co-working spaces to locate those startups is also gaining traction. Silicon Valley may have kickstarted this trend originally, but Africa has definitely embraced the concept. Co-working spaces are heralded globally as trendy, open spaces conducive to networking and brainstorming, but in Africa they also serve a far more practical purpose, with many co-working spaces mitigating the exorbitant costs of setting up and running an office in those early startup days. For many women entrepreneurs just starting up in business, particularly those going it alone as solopreneurs, co-working spaces can offer something much greater, however. Acknowledging that it can be a lonely process being a solopreneur, co-working spaces create a feeling of community, bringing like-minded people with similar goals and aspirations together to share ideas and experiences, and to provide an informal support structure. Importantly, these co-working spaces can also dramatically reduce the initial operating costs of a startup in those critical early months.