Coworking spaces are popping up in cities across the country; the many benefits they offer are causing them to become immensely popular in the business world and to drastically alter the environment in which people work. Like rental office spaces, they offer all of the things you would expect in an office, such as WiFi, conference rooms, and even kitchens, providing a professional work environment for the self-employed, entrepreneurs, and other independent professionals that may not have the resources needed to rent an office space.
The overall benefit is a huge increase in productivity caused by the social, environmental, and economical efficiency of a coworking space. Sharing the office supplies, equipment, and building saves resources that could be totally unobtainable otherwise. Energy usage is reduced by sharing the office space, reducing the environmental impact of business. Positioning themselves in a shared office space allows these professionals to network and gain connections that make it much more efficient for existing businesses to grow. Another benefit from coworking is that people can bounce their ideas around and get feedback from one another. These benefits are making developing a new idea into a business or growing an existing business much easier.
Coworking spaces aren’t meant solely for startups, nor are they sector or industry specific. They may be filled with musicians, artists, writers, programmers, professionals from the manufacturing industry and everything in between. The popularity of coworking is seen in the diversity of industries that it caters to. This diversity, when coupled with talent, is a great advantage in business and creates a very healthy atmosphere in the work environment.
Not only do coworking spaces offer a healthy work environment but some also provide incubator services. Incubators have a team of people to help entrepreneurs develop their ideas and provide them with all the tools and resources needed to launch a business. An entrepreneur wanting to start a business may face problems regarding financing, market research, the legal formation of their business and many other problems, but with an incubator, startup problems are easily overcome. Startup.SC offers an incubator program for entrepreneurs and tech startups in the Myrtle Beach area. Their program helps entrepreneurs and startups to build a business launch strategy and offers connections to prospective employees, investors, mentors and many other useful resources. Ryan Smith, the Executive Director of Startup.SC said this about the role Startup.SC plays in the economic development of the Grand Strand region, "We are excited about contributing to the economic diversity of the region. Bringing the technology industry to the Grand Strand will have a tremendous impact on the region's economy. We are working to support driven entrepreneurs with ideas for scalable technology driven businesses. Those businesses have the ability to create high paying year round jobs and attract millennials to the area."
Thanks to coworking spaces and incubators, economic development is driving forward across the country. Another local coworking space and incubator is the Conway Innovation Center (CIC). Through partnerships with academic institutions, like the Clemson Technology Villages Program, the CIC offers strategies to launch businesses, along with assistance on marketing strategies and business plan development. The CIC and Startup.SC both bring in a diverse, talented group of people to develop great ideas into local businesses.
Many other areas, such as Columbia, Charleston, Greenville, and Ashville, are also seeing economic development from successful coworking spaces and incubators. The efficiency and effectiveness that entrepreneurs can access through these companies is a key component to modern economic development. Companies like Startup.SC and the Conway Innovation Center are not a trend; they are a part of a revolution that is taking place in the modern business world.