Unique space opens opportunities for business owners

Mona Bates, operations manager for Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan, poses inside Path Cowork, a new collaborative workspace for small business and entrepreneurs. Photo by Ethan Williams.

It’s not your grandfather’s office space. In fact, it’s not your father’s either.

Path Cowork, located in the DoubleTree Hotel mall in Regina, is the first collaborative workspace in town. Tables are spread throughout the open-concept area. A kitchen sits off to the side, should a client want a quick snack. Board games and Rubik’s cubes fill tables where clients meet employees. It’s certainly not a traditional office.

Justin Lee is the general manager, and explained what Path Cowork aims to achieve.

“[Path] is a co-working environment for small businesses, freelancers, entrepreneurs and innovative organizations to work . . . in a collective, collaborative environment,” he said.

Lee explained prospective employees buy memberships for daily or monthly periods, and set up within the space to work.

The complex, which opened in July, was created by Lee and his friends, who also own Victoria’s Tavern. He said recent economic development lead to the space’s creation.

“There’s certainly an appetite for entrepreneurship and business growth In Regina,” said Lee. “So we saw that and based [the space] off some models that we’ve seen in larger cities.”

He said the location is also a plus.

“It’s centrally located in downtown, in the hustle and bustle.”

Mona Bates is the manager of operations for Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan (WESK), which rents space in the complex. She said the open-concept layout encourages employees to get out of their offices and work with others.

“In a typical office environment where everyone’s behind closed doors, you tend to create silos,” Bates said. “This has really broken down those silos.”

“When I have clients that come in that would benefit from some of the services from Economic Development Regina, they’re right here,” she said.

Bates also believes the space is convenient for clients.

“A lot of clients we work with are small business start-ups and so they don’t necessarily have a space yet, so they can come in here,” she said.

The facility has also caught the eye of the Regina Chamber of Commerce. Chamber CEO John Hopkins thinks it will improve the local economy.

“When you have the opportunity to have different people from different organizations working together . . . that’s how innovation happens,” Hopkins said.

“It’s been talked about for many years,” he said. “Particularly . . . a need for an entrepreneurship centre.”

Lee believes the space will help grow Regina’s entrepreneurship and small business market.

“If we work together . . . we are going to be able to generate more resources and work together,” he said.

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