Entrepreneurs Are Getting Creative in the Co-Working Space


In South Orange, New Jersey, former publicist Deborah Engel was expecting her third child when she found an ideal space to house a combination co-working venue and preschool.

"Something about being 7-months pregnant made me go crazy, and I bought the building," she says.

Now, parents who join Work and Play drop their children at the first-floor school and head upstairs to work. "We put a lot of soundproofing between floors" Ms. Engel notes.

It isn't just the convenience that is appealing, says member Abreen Ali, who leaves her 2-year-old daughter at the school. She's inspired by a community of fellow parents who swapped full-time gigs for freelancing. "It's like you have a group of cheerleaders around you," Ms. Ali says.

Co-working is a tough field for small players. According to trade publication Deskmag, a co-working magazine, 75% of co-working outfits with at least 200 members report earning a profit, while less than 25% of those with fewer than 50 members are in the black.

One way to compete: Cater to a specific occupation. Spaces around the city target industries from fashion to fintech.

Written By: Anne Kadet, The Wall Street Journal

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