I visited United Way’s new digs yesterday and had a chat with Linda Brazier Lamoureux, Director of Learning and Innovation. United Way, like many of us non-profit organizations, is always seeking ways to develop revenue sources while continuing to serve the community. I was at United Way to see their Innovation Centre, also known as 580 Main – Hot Desks, because Linda thought it might provide some benefit to our women-in-business clientele.
The main floor of United Way has been designed as a shared space environment with an open section of desks and work spaces and a number of closed and private meeting rooms. These desks can be used on a reserved basis for a specified number of hours per month, or on a permanent, full-time basis, by small start-up businesses, social enterprises, not-for-profits, registered charities and artists who need an office away from home. What’s great for a new, small business is that the Innovation Centre can provide a place to meet with clients or have advisory board meetings. One of the major advantages is the benefit of a communal space rather than working on one’s own in a vacuum—which is often the downside of a home-based business.
I think it’s a good idea and could certainly see the utility for a new business that can’t afford a full office space in the downtown area. United Way offers free Wi-Fi, and low volume copier, printer and fax as part of the very reasonable rental fee. You can book meeting rooms, AV equipment, classrooms and have access to a kitchen. The Hot Desk area is staffed with a receptionist from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm Monday to Friday.
I’m not trying to be an ad for UW, but if you find this appealing, it could be a good way to get your business rolling without making a long-term commitment to rental payments and equipment purchases. For prices, rules and regulations, and further information, call Linda at 924-4225.