6: Growing a Coworking Space in a Small City - with David and Joy Taylor

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We hear from David and Joy Taylor who set up “Canvas Coworking” in a small city in Australia. Their journey began in 2012, when they started by talking to lots of people and hosting coffee-mornings to engage their local community and find out what was needed.

After starting with a popup space in a café, they looked for a larger “dual purpose” space which they could set up how they liked, and were able to run workshops and events to test and “prove” the business model.

The next step was to find a permanent space they could lease. With volunteer support (including David and Joy volunteering their own time) they managed to set up their full-time home which is now owned and run by the community. 

David speaks about some of the challenges they’ve faced, including educating people on the difference between coworking and serviced office space, and getting their local council to understand what they were trying to achieve, which didn’t quite match what the council themselves wanted to deliver in the early stages.

We also hear about 

  • how their coworking space has been able to deliver what the community has needed
  • the opportunities it’s created for coworkers to give back
  • the challenge of coworkers driving to the coworking space and needing parking, versus using public transport
  • attracting coworkers from outside the city
  • the successes they’ve had in supporting members to get funding to develop what they’re passionate about

Finally, we also hear from one of their members, Jinhee, about the journey he’s embarked on as a result of finding David and Joy’s coworking space.

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