Most entrepreneurs are born out of a need to solve a fundamental problem. For Andrew Bimpong and his partner Richard Bempong, the tedious search for a working space to start their online fashion store took them on a different entrepreneurship journey which can now be described as a solution for all entrepreneurs who need a work space to do their business.
Right after school, these two Ashesi University graduates, started looking for an office to start a business idea they had come up with. After searching for a months, they had very little luck finding an affordable office and even when they did, it was in the outskirts of Accra. That was when it struck them that they could start a co-working space which would house other entrepreneurs struggling to find an office space to operate.
What is a co-working space you ask? It is simply a shared working area for different companies to operate. It is a popular type of work environment in Asia, Europe and America and is slowly creeping into Africa. Ghana has about five notable co-working spaces and one of them is Workshed Africa which was started by Andrew and Richard. “We realised that we were not the only ones facing this struggle and what solidified our desire to start this co-working space was when another start-up told us how much they were paying for a whole floor when they were just two in the building”, Andrew and Richard quickly told them about their new idea and they were very excited to join.
Their idea looks brilliant on paper but in reality, they struggled when they started. Branding and funding their business were all headaches but their biggest problem was people buying into their idea and patronizing their co-working space. They realised quickly that Ghanaians had a sense of entitlement and preferred to own an office space rather than share one with others. “There’s very little education in Ghana about working together with other people especially entrepreneurs in one working space and that has been a barrier for us.” There is however hope for the future as more millennials are subscribing to the idea of co-working spaces in Ghana. When you visit Workshed Africa, which is located at Batsoona on the Spintex road, you are most likely to meet young entrepreneurs working busily at their various desks. Start-ups such as Accra Goods Market which is a pop up market, Hello Grill which is a food company and Cavemen which is a creative design agency as well as many others use this space. This is not to say that Workshed Africa is age biased. The shed is open for all people and all businesses who need a space to do their work. The shed comes with dedicated wifi, mailing and telephone services, a printer, scanner, conference room, and a cafeteria. It is indeed a total work environment for more than just a single company.
If you are wondering how beneficial a co-working space is for your start-up, Andrew has two reasons for you:
1. Cost effective
Nobody wants to spend all their income on huge rents and that is why a co-working space is a definite option for businesses especially for start-ups who are yet to make some real money. Although there are some really expensive co-working spaces in Ghana, Workshed Africa provides premium services at the most affordable prices. Their rates are also flexible to meet the pockets of many entrepreneurs. You can check their pricing and choose what is best for your company.
2. Networking opportunities:
Co-working spaces house several companies with diverse skills and services. A co-working space like I-Space is more inclined to tech companies and start-ups but Workshed houses companies from different industries. This helps them build relationships and gain favours easily. “We have seen a lot of partnerships grow in our shed. Accra goods market has benefited a lot from Cavemen. They needed a website and branding help and they found it a desk away.” Workshed in itself has benefitted from these partnerships. “There was a time we needed help with photography and we got CN Concepts on the job because they were right here.” Imagine the struggle these companies would have gone through if they were in different locations.
You don’t need to work from home. Workshed Africa gives you all that the home offers and even more. Their facilities and environment creates the perfect atmosphere for work and Andrew has invested so much because he strongly believes that the shed is the ideal place for productive work and building connections. “We want the space to be a place people can call home. We want people to stay here and not realise it is past 5Pm. Over here at Workshed Africa, you will create long lasting business relationships and you will do so at affordable prices.”
People share their fondest memories at workshed.