Small businesses have looked to unorthodox spaces for their offices, such as co-working spaces, but some women are becoming even more inventive. This month’s introduction of The Emerald, a female-focused co-working space in Scottsdale, is one of many similar spaces where female entrepreneurs can collaborate with similar-minded peers.
Female-focused co-working spaces like The Emerald provide entrepreneurs, freelancers, writers, and hobbyists with an empowering space to interact with other women. The Emerald might be the most recently opened with its November 8th debut, but these co-working spaces have been gaining traction for years. The Valley features three other similar spaces, including Thrive Co-Working for Women in Gilbert, Hera Hub in Phoenix, and StarshineAZ in Glendale and Phoenix.
Hera Hub Phoenix Founder Shatha Barbour explains why the demand for female-focused co-working spaces is increasing in the Greater Phoenix area. “Traditionally, a lot of co-working spaces tend to be more tech-heavy. They target a lot of the tech companies that are scaling quickly to make these developments,” she notes. “If you’re a woman not making the next Facebook or Uber, and you’re scaling at your own rate, they feel like they fit in and that the resources are there. It’s been an answer to a need for decades.”
Barbour expresses that this not only helps women advance their careers, it also aids the local and national economies. According to an American Express study, women are starting businesses at three times the rate of men. Thus, spaces like Hera Hub help to provide female trailblazers with the resources they need to help get the next big idea off the ground.
“When women business-owners succeed, it has a ripple effect on the entire community,” she continues. “They give back in so many ways, including the educational, economic, and philanthropic spaces.”
Spaces like Hera Hub have partnerships with organizations across the Valley, which provides resources and leadership that can help these businesses burgeon. Moreover, Barbour notes that at the very least, they provide these entrepreneurs with more information, such as how to acquire government contracts through the Small Business Association.
Female co-working spaces are versatile, designed to mesh with people of all careers and interests. “It has been designed with the intention in mind that it’s more of a Zen field,” Barbour states. “Our lives are busy and hectic enough as it is, so we want people to be able to come in, take a notch down, and get work done.”
Although these spaces are female-focused, they are not exclusive to women. Barbour jokes that Hera Hub isn’t “pink and frilly, just very productive.” Spaces like Hera Hub and The Emerald give entrepreneurs of all backgrounds a place to achieve their most ambitious goals.