Given the impact of Brexit and the extended period of government absence at Stormont, inward investment in Northern Ireland has confronted numerous challenges in recent months, especially for entrepreneurs.
Nonetheless, one solution presents a feasible option that has many advantages for small-t0-medium sized businesses and large corporations alike which operate in Northern Ireland: shared office space for entrepreneurs, known globally as coworking.
Coworking spaces for entrepreneurs — which are gaining popularity in Belfast by the day – offer a practical, high impact solution in cities that are facing a stalled or downward economic growth. This is mainly because coworking creates new jobs and reinvigorates village centers that are dealing with a lack of investments and the consequences of depopulation.
Opening new coworking spaces for entrepreneurs as a method of stimulating economic growth has proven to be a lucrative strategy in Belfast already.
A handful of shared office spaces for entrepreneurs have opened in Belfast’s city center as well as other locations throughout Northern Ireland, such as Newry and Omagh. These hubs for innovation and forward-thinking business pursuits have had a high social impact in Belfast, ushering the city into a more European frame of mind where the sharing economy is ripe.
Let’s take a look at the five coolest coworking spaces for entrepreneurs in Belfast that are paving the way for new and exciting economic opportunities.
1) Glandore Arthur House
Family-owned Glandore Arthur House, which opened last year, aims to promote entrepreneurship in Belfast and Ireland at large. With eight different shared office spaces for entrepreneurs on the island of Ireland, Glandore provides vibrant coworking communities that offer a much more desirable option than freelancing from home. As such, the environment at Glandore is top-rate — with an incredibly diverse community of entrepreneurs in industries such as tech, creative design, finance and even law. It’s international flair can be experienced at Glandore Arthur House’s many member events, including educational seminars and workshops, fireside discussions, social gatherings, business briefings, fitness classes, and more.
As Belfast’s most centrally-located shared office space for entrepreneurs, LoftSpace is an open-plan coworking space that offers a stress-free work environment, all of the facilities of a traditional office, plus a thriving social atmosphere and sense of community. Located just steps away from many of the city center’s top attractions, LoftSpace provides a beautiful space to be productive, have a quick meeting, or enjoy a chat over coffee. Flexible membership plans are all-inclusive at LoftSpace, so you can forget about rent and utilities, and focus instead on your goals for the year ahead.
3) Ormeau Baths
If you find yourself strolling along the Lagan, you don’t have to go far to locate the coworking community at Ormeau Baths. Based in a historic bath-house, Ormeau Baths is an entrepreneurial campus that helps the best and brightest Belfast-based startups gain access to new networks, funding, and expertise. Providing the tools to flourish in global markets, this coworking space for entrepreneurs was founded by numerous tech entrepreneurs and is known for its tech community. Ormeau Baths has also partnered with coworking operator Barclays Eagle Labs (which have over 22 spaces in the UK) and DogPatch Labs in Dublin, so members can utilize top-quality coworking spaces for entrepreneurs — no matter where they’re traveling.
4) Cubic Cowork
Located just 10 minutes outside of Belfast in Lisburn City, Cubic Cowork is a dynamic shared office space for entrepreneurs who are ready to take their business to the next level. With dedicated underground parking for members, this coworking space is nearby plenty of lunch spots and shops that you can head to with your fellow coworkers for a mid-day break. No matter your needs, Cubic Cowork offers a range of hot desk packages as well as meeting rooms and private offices so you can get down to business without all the hassle.
5) Blick Shared Studios, Cathedral Quarter
Located at 46 Hill Street in Belfast’s charming Cathedral Quarter, Blick Shared Studios is housed in an airy, converted warehouse which makes for the perfect working environment for creatives. The vision of Blick Shared Studios (which has three coworking spaces throughout Belfast) is to focus on the needs of creative industry businesses. To be eligible for workspace within Blick, you therefore need to be working within a creative industry to maintain this vision of promoting the arts in Northern Ireland. With funding opportunities, studio space, and plenty of skill-sharing events, you really can’t beat this coworking space for entrepreneurs — especially if you’re a creative type!
Where is your favorite shared office space for entrepreneurs located? To discover more of the cool spaces around the world that are part of the Coworker network and Global Pass program, check out this article.