Based in the Baltic Triangle, close to the city centre, its £5.3m purpose-built hub in St James Street provides incubator space for 200 fledgling businesses. Tony McDonough reports.
Having helped 50,000 women create or grow their own businesses over the past 21 years The Women’s Organisation in Liverpool is stepping up its push to help even more female entrepreneurs.
Based in the Baltic Triangle, close to the city centre, its £5.3m purpose-built hub in St James Street provides incubator space for 200 fledgling businesses.
It is now offering hot-desking facilities across the third floor of the building ranging from half day deals for just £9 to monthly ‘platinum’ rates of £99.
Services include free tea and coffee, and the availability of desktop computers, lockers, Wi-Fi, as well as printing, photocopying and scanning.
The organisation offers 80% of its space for female tenants in line with its aim to support more women entrepreneurs.
Providing space specifically for female business owners is a current hot topic and The Women’s Organisation featured in a national debate about the issue.
There is a growing trend across the UK for same-sex work places which it is claimed enable women to feel comfortable, supported and empowered.
Conference and facilities manager of The Women’s Organisation, Sandra Sipavicuite, said: “Hot-desking is an innovative alternative to traditional office space that bridges the gap between permanent tenancy and virtual tenancy.
“It is a pay-as-you-go service with no ties that allows you to hire desk space as and when it suits you. This can be particularly useful if you are self-employed or travelling for business and crave the office environment.”
She added the centre is also offering its remaining three office spaces for rent by women-owned or women-led businesses, meaning the site, which opened six years ago, would be 100% full.
Maggie O’Carroll, The Women’s Organisation co-founder and chief executive, was interviewed on the subject by Sky TV and by The Times and The Telegraph and she explained the basis of 54 St James Street.
“We had independent research done and it showed that spaces that were gender focused – not necessarily gender specific – had a real impact, both in number of businesses started, but also in the performance of those businesses,” she explained.
“So it’s a women-focused space, but not a women-only space, because women employ men, men employ women – business is business.”
“Our mission is to try to redress the balance and get more women to start and grow businesses.”