Starting a small business can be a daunting task especially when faced with the challenge of finding a suitable office space that will be both convenient and affordable. A group of entrepreneurs started the co-working offices in Nairobi, a concept that is offering a viable solution for small businesses and even big organisations looking to expand or relocate.
Co-working spaces have gained momentum in the city, with small and medium-sized businesses using them as cost-cutting options. These are simply shared workspaces that offer affordable office spaces.
You just need a laptop
They provide various amenities and staff that enable you to save on cost, like a receptionist and office administrator who you would have otherwise employed. In addition, you do not have to worry about paying utility bills like electricity.
Co-working offices in Nairobi also have ready office furniture so you only need your laptop or desktop to start working. Whether you are a startup looking to root yourself in the industry or an experienced business looking to expand, a shared office space can offer a solution with the flexibility of a short lease.
In the country’s capital Nairobi, shared office spaces have become popular and are available in various locations that are not only convenient for your clients but also for your partners and employees as most are located in and around the CBD.
Players in the space include Nomad Lounges, who not only offer office space but also a variety of services like modern boardrooms, conferencing and training facilities. Other players include Nairobi Garage, Regus and The Hive. They have since opened offices in Nairobi’s prime working areas including Westlands, Kiliamani and Upper Hill.
“Co-working is the future of office spaces in this and various other cities in the world,” says Mrs Anuradha Khoda, Founder & CEO of Nomad Lounges. “They provide the best of both worlds, they offer ambience and conducive working spaces at an affordable price while still within great proximity to the City Centre.”
Shared workspaces also allow you to meet various like-minded individuals working within that environment thus enabling you to network with the possibility of meeting potential clients or a future partner.
Knight Frank, a leading estate agency, predicts that the niche market is expected to grow over the coming years as demand is increasing. The absorption of grade A and B offices have declined 8% due to the current economic slowdown.
“The serviced office sector has recorded rapid growth over the last few years owing to new shared workspace entrants as well as increased demand from SMEs, maturing start-ups and multinational firms,” the report says. “The increased interest is due to the flexibility that comes with serviced offices in comparison to traditional offices.”
On the other hand, they continuously face the challenge of continued oversupply of commercial spaces.
According to Cytonn Real Estate 2019 report, real estate developers have focused heavily on construction of office buildings attributed to the relatively high yields in the commercial office market at 8.1%, compared to the real estate market average of 7.4%, leading to a supply of 9.0 mn SQFT in 2018, against a demand of 3.8 mn SQFT, hence an oversupply of 5.2 mn SQFT, and
Lillian Makena is a freelance writer based in Nairobi.