Many entrepreneurs work in isolation, in coffee shops, or on the go. It is such a transient lifestyle that it can make zero sense to invest in a full-time office space for Monday-Friday. Enter the co-working space.

Co-working spaces are shared office environments for folks who are otherwise typically working solo or in small groups.

Coworking is not just about the sharing of infrastructure and cost, it is about belonging to a community, accessibility and sustainability. – What is Co-working?

Locations can offer everything from a table and chair in an open space, to hot desks, to cubicles, to private offices. These kinds of spaces typically share conference rooms, break rooms, and that kind of thing. This is ideal for solopreneurs, freelancers and small startups who don’t have the money to buy a building or rent more permanent digs just yet.

Folks have used co-working spaces to launch major companies—Instagram and Indiegogo both started out in them.

One of the most beautiful co-working spaces I’ve ever seen is Vector 90 in Los Angeles, a project launched with the help of Nipsey Hussle in 2017.

These kinds of spaces are popping up all over the place, with an an annual growth rate of about 24%. By some estimates, there could be more than 30,432 coworking spaces serving +5 million co-working people by 2022.

As you might imagine, finding the right fit for a co-working space can be really important. Even though you’re basically there on your own, the right space allows you space to both do your own thing AND also the opportunity to meet and connect with other very smart dynamic people and companies.

One of my dreams is to open a culturally competent co-working space that serves multiple functions, including but not limited to co-working. I’d like to offer content creator space for things like podcasts and webinars, serve as a cultural hub for the community, and provide personal & daycare services. Until my resources catch up to my dreams, I love finding new co-working spaces to visit and use when I’m traveling.

I recently visited a women-owned co-working space and it was great because there were so many little things there that I hadn’t experienced at other spaces, including a ceiling swing and a kids corner for sick days, school holidays, and my-sitter-canceled-at-the-last-minute days.

I have found a couple of databases for co-working spaces for women and black people that I thought I’d share for the good of the cause. I know I can’t be the only one looking for culturally competent spaces. I hope these lists are helpful for you!

Black-owned co-working spaces directory

To my sheer and utter joy, Vice recently published an article in partnership with The Plug about black-owned co-working spaces in the United States. In it, they embed a list of 56 of these black-owned spaces, which you can find here.

According to the article, today’s black-owned co-working spaces have been “built to give black people a safe space to find themselves in the work of innovation where they have largely been excluded.”

Co-working spaces that offer that extra level of support for black innovators, creatives and entrepreneurs are desperately needed. If one of the 56 companies is near you, check them out!

Women-owned co-working spaces directory

I have found at least one directory of women-owned co-working spaces, which you can find by clicking here. It is a little bit of an older list (from 2017), but it is a global directory and not just limited to the United States. For the U.S.-based women-owned co-working spaces, download the document below.

For a more recent assessment of women-owned facilities, check out this 2019 article from WorkDesign Magazine on the rise of women-only co-working spaces. Some feature things like nursing rooms, “beauty rooms” (stocked with makeup and hair supplies), and meditation areas.

Sign me up!!!

Have you ever visited a co-working space owned by a woman or person of color? What was your experience like? Leave a comment and let me know all about it.

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