Pro Features

Co-working and Shared Spaces – Join the Movement

Co-working (shared worked spaces) is gaining in popularity in the Bay, with a wide range of businesses and people co- located in shared spaces.

While it is common to attract start-up businesses, self-employed professionals or freelancers, for others it’s an opportunity to reconnect outside of working from home, or to further develop a not for profit or social enterprise.

Cultivate Hawke’s Bay is a new collaborative space in Taradale established by Haylee Wren this year with a specific focus on small business and not-for profit support. Haylee wanted to create a friendly approachable community within an intimate office space and has seen immediate uptake from a range of organisations.

Co-working spaces provide immediate access to a network of businesses and offer the opportunity to mix with a diverse range of people. It’s all about innovative like-minded people working on their own businesses in the same space as others so that collaborating, idea-sharing, and working together occurs naturally between them.

The Chook House in Waipukurau, was an early entry into providing a shared work space in the region; designed to build a community to motivate and inspire small business owners and freelancers in the heart of Central Hawke’s Bay.

The greatest asset of any co-working space is its members with each shared space having its own culture. A recent reviewer of Oh My Goodness community space in Hastings

comments, “Such a beautiful space to spend a day working away on my laptop – so spacious, a swing and table tennis with baker, Scott and beautiful food. Feels like home, a community place.”

As well as making financial sense, the other value-adds can be the likes of facilities management, reception services and Wi- Fi. Someone owns the lease and provides the infrastructure, freeing up community members to focus on building their business, without the distraction of day-to-day details.

Another example is the Hawke’s Bay Business Hub in Ahuriri, which has been operating for two years. Out front, the Business Hub is open for any business person to pop in for a few hours and work at the casual drop-in tables in the café-style area, taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi and the informal business connections that can be made in the shared space. For confidential appointments, there are meeting rooms, training and event spaces, and a boardroom available to book.

Sixteen business support agencies are co- located at the Business Hub.

Business Hawke’s Bay Acting CEO, Carolyn Neville, says that one of the key successes of the hub is the collaboration that occurs between member organisations. “The connection, collaboration and community that comes from working in a shared space is to the benefit of the businesses and the people that we work with.”

This has sparked a new initiative within a key action in Matariki, the Hawke’s Bay Regional Economic Development Strategy.

Business Hawke’s Bay is exploring how business support and growth programmes can be provided through linking with the region’s co-working spaces. “The first step is to create a regional directory of existing and new co-working spaces. With many new spaces opening up, or under development, this will enable people to find a community that meets their needs,” says Carolyn.

“The next step is to connect with the people who work in those spaces. You can grab a desk or chair anywhere, and that is all that some people need. But for others, the support and opportunities to learn, share and grow are equally as important.”

To find a co-working community, or to list your shared space on the new regional directory, go to the Hawke’s Bay Business Hub website,