Scotland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is booming right now. It may not be the first thing that comes to mind — after kilts, haggis, and the Loch Ness monster — but the country is going through somewhat of a startup renaissance. With financial incentives from the government and enablement from world-leading organisations, Scotland really is an excellent place to grow a business.
And where do all of these budding entrepreneurs and micro businesses go to work? Coworking spaces! Boosted by government and influenced by startup accelerators, coworking in Scotland is taking shape in the major cities. According to recent research by Desk Union, there are currently 50 coworking workspaces in Scotland, including government-funded startup hubs and entrepreneurial incubators.
societyM in Glasgow. Photo credit: Desk Union. Used with permission.
Private coworking hubs such as societyM can be found on the ground floor of Glasgow’s citizenM hotel. It’s described as a ‘Business Club,’ but operates much more like an exclusive coworking space. It’s a refreshing approach to workspace for nomadic workers who often find themselves working from coffee shops or from home. citizenM does everything right for the Generation X flexible worker. Their décor is very cool and eclectic, but also practical with a range of seating options offering large collaborative spaces and private workspaces. It’s the perfect place to bring clients to meet — feeling like the best-kept secret in town and the kind of place that you want to be.
Entrepreneurial Spark has taken Scotland by storm since its inception 18 months ago. It’s a business incubator at heart bringing a collaborative coworking environment to its clients. Entrepreneurial Spark offers more than just coworking, providing businesses with enablement, mentorship, and networking opportunities. With three incubators across Scotland, it’s definitely the place to be for startups.
The Melting Pot is a coworking space focused on social enterprise businesses. Founded in 2007 as a not-for-profit facility, the Melting Pot champions social innovation and connects the social enterprise community. It’s an excellent example of how niche industry coworking spaces can work successfully.
Entrepreneurial Spark in Glasgow. Photo credit: Desk Union. Used with permission.
And it’s awesome to see that there are even more coworking projects underway in Scotland! Coming soon to Edinburgh is the Creative Exchange, supported by Edinburgh City Council with a focus on high-growth tech businesses. There’s also Silicon Walk, founded by a collection of Edinburgh startups who want to grow an entrepreneurial community. We’re also seeing really interesting coworking spaces popping up in Scottish towns such as the Falkirk Business Hub, due to open in June 2013 and providing a mix of coworking space, offices, and meeting facilities as well as a gym, wellness centre, and café.
It seems that Scotland is finally waking up to the benefits of coworking. With an eclectic mix of spaces on offer, there’s something to meet the needs of all businesses. And Desk Union is keeping a watchful eye on the coworking trend, its impact on startups, and the Scottish economy.