This piece originally published on November 19, 2018.
The future of work looks like freelancers, creatives, and entrepreneurs designing and innovating in shared spaces that offer reliable WiFi, networking and events on how to drive growth and revenue for your business.
There are more than 4,000 coworking spaces (and growing) in the United States and overall membership is expected to increase by 5.1 million by 2022. Despite this rapid growth in shared working spaces, only a handful of co-working spaces are black-owned and cater to black professionals.
Black entrepreneurs across the country are stepping up to create workspaces offering a safe haven for a community of Black creatives and freelancers who seek shared community spaces built around the idea of inclusion.
Check out a list of five innovative Black-owned co-working spaces:
Femology — Detroit
This co-working space catering to Black female entrepreneurs was founded by Detroit native Meagan Ward last year. Over 100 women-owned brands in the community are expected to be housed. Femology offers workspace with desks and offices, a lounge, coffee, and snacks.
“It’s a hub for fostering collaboration, but also serves as a strategic foundation for building businesses,” said Ward to ESSENCE.
Membership rates range from $25 per day to $79 per month, and $129 per month and offer access to conference rooms, workshops, and events.
LA Create Space — Los Angeles
“Inspire, create, and take advantage of new opportunities,” is the motto for LA Create Space, a new space for the creative community.
Launched in Inglewood by husband and wife duo Terell and Marisa Johnson, former Apple and Facebook employees, La Create Space is a place for like-minded creatives, entrepreneurs, developers, and others looking for a space to create and grow small businesses.
Members get access to collaborative work areas, conferences rooms, private rooms, photo and production studios, along with mixers, and industry events. Membership rates range from $300 per month to $3500 per month.
The Gathering Spot — Atlanta & Washington D.C.
Co-founders Ryan Wilson and T.K. Petersen launched The Gathering Spot in 2016 in Atlanta securing a $3M investment for their startup. The invitation-only, social club for entrepreneurs and creatives opened its door for Atlanta creators, entrepreneurs, and young professionals looking for a co-working space with a luxury feel. The Gathering Spot is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for members and offers a full-service restaurant, bar, and special events.
Approved members must pay an initiation fee of $300. Membership fees are $2,000 annually or $200 per month, though “under 30” membership packages start at $100 for monthly dues.
“With all the entrepreneurs, professionals and the creative industries, Atlanta has here, I felt we needed a physical place for all three of those communities to come together,” says CEO and co-founder Ryan Wilson to Rolling Out
The startup plans to launch in Washington D.C. in the future.
Blue Lacuna — Chicago
This tech incubator was founded by Emile Cambry offers a collaborative workspace, event space, civic space, and community space for creatives individuals, entrepreneurs, and community members. The innovation center offers community-based programming including computer coding.
The co-working membership includes conference rooms, online networks, weekly events, and youth classes. They offer office, business, and individual memberships.
Black Tech Union — Seattle
The Union, named after Black student unions on HBCU campuses, is the creation of Microsoft engineer Arif Gursel. The work and event space is slated to launch this year as a hub for educational programs, digital media production, with an emphasis on cultural relevance.
The space will be equipped with co-working stations, couches and coffee table for a feel Gursel describes to CityArts as “that WeWork feel but more culturally relevant.”
Check out this list of 56 Black-owned co-working spaces compiled by Motherboard.
Know any other Black-owned co-working spaces? Hit us up on Twitter and let us know!