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Coworking, the JOBS Act, and Small Business in Northwest Houston
The Office Connexion is launching a coworking and business resource center in northwest Houston in an area that in is dire need of support and resources for entrepreneurs, startups and small business owners.
The center will offer more than just a workspace. It will be a membership-based community of startups, entrepreneurs, freelancers and other solo-workers who have the opportunity to collaborate, share ideas, and enjoy real-life social networking experiences. The center's members will have access to workshops, seminars and mentoring to help them build and grow sustainable small businesses. Their membership also includes access to Internet, meeting rooms, office equipment, and free coffee.
President Obama's passing of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or JOBS act, this month could not have been more timely. Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy and the passing of this bill should encourage an emergence of more startups by making it easier to raise much need startup capital.
Lack of capital is one of the primary reasons small businesses fail. Another contributing factor of small business failures is lack of support. The anticipated increase in business startups leads to the need for more support and resources for entrepreneurs and small business. Coworking, an emerging concept growing rapidly across the country, is just one of those support systems. While coworking centers have increased exponentially by 400% over the past two years, there are probably less than 10 in the Houston area.
Coworking is a communal-type workspace environment where independent professionals, entrepreneurs, small business owners and freelancers who share a common set of values come together to work independently, collaborate, create, and share ideas.
One of the major highlight of the JOBS Act is the crowdfunding provision. Crowdfunding is a fundraising method that allows small businesses and startups to raise capital through receiving contributions from many individual donors. The contributions can be as small as one dollar. Co-founders of The Office Connexion, Fernell and Toni Hogan, have actually launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund the startup of the new coworking center on Indiegogo.com. Fernell says, “We can see how this funding source will be important to even the smallest startups in the near future.”
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The Office Connexion is a membership-based coworking community. Member have access to the coworking center, wifi, conference rooms, printers, copiers, kitchen, coffee, and events.