This entrepreneur devised a co-working space that could be a game changer for working moms
As the number of home-based businesses continues climb, entrepreneur Glaucia Martin-Porath, of Portland, Ore., wants to carve a corner in the marketplace for her own venture: a co-working space for working mothers.
The key: on-site day care.
Martin-Porath says she’s already got a child care provider lined up and is currently on the hunt for 6,000 to 8,000 square feet for the co-working space, plus another 5,000 square feet for the child care accommodations.
“I would have gone back to work earlier if I had the opportunity to work and be close to my child,” Martin-Porath told the Portland Business Journal (a Bizwomen sister publication).
More than 100 women have already expressed interest in the concept, responding to a survey Martin-Porath sent out for feedback. She’s also reached out to companies she describes as “progressive,” offering membership that would allow businesses to rotate employees, such as those coming off maternity leave, through the space, the Portland Business Journal reported.
A co-working space user herself, Martin-Porath is certainly tapping a growing marketplace. In 2005, there was one co-working space in the U.S., according to a report released this year from the Commercial Real Estate Development Association. In 2013, there were 781.
And she isn’t the only entrepreneur finding value in creating spaces that cater to the female business community. Hera Hub, created by Felena Hanson in San Diego with plans to expand internationally, is a co-working space targeting businesswomen(“Hera” is the Greek goddess of women) with a feng-shui optimized aesthetic, trickling fountains and soft Latin music.
And the marketplace for such niche spaces is growing. In Denver, Colo. alone, there’s Green Labs, a place for entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry; Green Spaces, a spot that’s entirely solar-powered and requires members to be green-certified; and LawBank, a co-working space for attorneys, the Denver Post reported.
A number of the top companies in the nation currently offer in-house day care options, while others offer voucher programs. But as more women (and men) eschew traditional corporate culture for entrepreneurship, there’s value in offering some of those same amenities in a co-working atmosphere.
Martin-Porath hasn’t yet announced pricing but says that members will pay for child care services separate from membership, but at a discount.