By Paul Ndiho
From a rather unknown idea a few years ago to a buzzword, the coworking movement is spreading rapidly around the world and changing people’s way of working and developing new businesses. Well, here in the nation’s capital Hera Hub, is offering trendy co-working office space to women entrepreneurs.
Julia Westfall is the CEO Hera Hub DC, a Co-working space in the Washington DC metro area where she works to cultivate an ecosystem that supports budding women entrepreneurs as they launch small businesses, collaborate in a professional, productive, and spa-like environment. The platform provides our members with connections to other business experts, access to educational workshops, and visibility within the community and the support they need to be prosperous.
“I bought a franchise 3 years ago and started the business here we’re female Focus co-working space. We provide professional meeting and work space for women who primarily work from home and are looking for a professional place to meet their clients then to work and collaborate with other women.”
Here at Hera Hub, new businesses have been spurred, funding secured and lifelong friendships built. Ms. Westfall says her vision is to support more women in the launch and growth of their business.
We have a great variety of women, We have Lawyers who work out of our office here, we have people with marketing companies, we have writers, several bestselling authors, we have people that are have nonprofits, and support no profits, we have business coaches, and personal coaches, and parent coaches, so it’s a really large variety of all different types of businesses. Which is really great.
Julia Westfall has spent nearly 25 years working with small business helping them with their bookkeeping and cash flow Management says the Hub is not a one-size-fits-all coworking community.
There are several business benefiting from Hera Hub. For example, YAATRA Ventures, platform that is investing in infrastructure, energy and power to accelerate economic productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa. Rajakumari Jandhyala is the managing partner of Yaatra Ventures.
We recognize this is a problem of lack of infrastructure, and so we’re trying to link private Capital with public sector demand for infrastructure on the continent. Our focus is infrastructure around economic growth. Our investments in let’s say power, energy, and any infrastructure that supports a valued chain, that increases productivity. Weather its agricultural production, or adding value to the oil, that’s being discovered how to transform bad into products.
Another entrepreneur taking advantage of the co-working space is Lisa O’Donoghue-Lindy, Founder, of a social enterprise “She Inspires Her” an online and mobile media platform sharing stories about women entrepreneurs in emerging African markets.
“I basically interview women from all over sub-Saharan Africa, and I write their stories up about their businesses, and how they got started, the obstacles that they faced, the roadblocks, how they overcame them, and resources that they have used and then I post a story on my website. I do a lot of social media promotion of the women, and their businesses, and the main goal is to offer inspiration to other especially younger women out there who maybe don’t realize the potential that lies within them. They see themselves in these stories.
Analysts say in emerging markets, although 8-10 million small and medium-sized enterprises are owned by a woman, at least 30% of women are self-employed in the informal sector. In sub-Saharan Africa, that figure is above 70%. Lindy’s mission is to support the growth of women-owned small and growing businesses in Africa and plans to open a Hera Hub franchise in Namibia.