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Student-entrepreneur? Develop your idea in the co-working of Greenhouse!
Updated 14 April 2021* | All Locations
Student enterprises seem to be an increasingly common trend: more than ever, young people are starting their own business. The fact that students between the ages of 18 and 25 are able to work with a legal status of student/self-employed since 2017 will probably have something to do with this.
Yet the kitchen table is not always the perfect place to build your own business, no matter how big or small your ambition. Co-working spaces where flexibility, networking and productivity go hand in hand are therefore an attractive alternative for young entrepreneurs.
Young entrepreneurship thanks to entrepreneurial environments
Whereas only 163 student entrepreneurs were active in 2010, there were no fewer than 6,283 student enterprises registered with the RSVZ in 2018. In 2019 and 2020, the number continued to rise sharply. For example, the number rose from 7,203 in 2019 to 9,022 in the third quarter of 2020. So in almost 2 years, 2,739 young people have started a career as an entrepreneur.
The figures don’t lie: becoming an entrepreneur is in more and more young people’s blood. One of the main reasons for this boost is digitalisation: these days, you can get a long way with just a laptop, a smartphone and an active presence on social media. According to Unizo, corona and the current measures also play a role. Because students spend more time at home, they have more time to do other things, such as starting a business.
Moreover, they can count on support from multiple organisations: the official status given by the Flemish authorities, organisations such as Unizo and Vlaio, local companies setting up initiatives and schools providing a supportive climate.
Karel de Grote Hogeschool has its own KdG ondernemerscentrum where you can count on individual coaching and learning moments. At AP Hogeschool you can also go to the Ondernemers AP for workshops and networking. You can even apply for a student/self-employed status directly via most universities, in order to lower the threshold.
The schools mentioned above form, together with a few other schools & University of Antwerp, the Association University & Universities of Antwerp, with which they launched the TAKEOFFANTWERP initiative in 2014. Among other things, they organise start-up sessions specifically for final-year students who want to start their own business.
A co-working space as the ideal start-up base
Young entrepreneurs often face a financial challenge at the start and need a solid network in order to grow.
A co-working space is therefore the perfect solution: You don’t have the fixed costs of your own office, you meet other (experienced) entrepreneurs with whom you can exchange ideas and you can meet with (potential) customers at different locations in a professional setting such as a meeting room. You will therefore immediately impress your client with your professional approach. Four birds with one stone!
On top of that, you ensure a work-life balance: by separating home and your professional environment, you will experience fewer distractions and thus be able to focus better. Being surrounded by other entrepreneurs will undoubtedly boost your motivation and energy as well.
Entrepreneurs find their way to Greenhouse
We would like to introduce you to two young entrepreneurs who started their business in the co-working space of Greenhouse:
Jasper Dockx, entrepreneur and founder of Twaalfde Man Media
For Jasper Dockx, 23-year-old owner of online marketing agency Twaalfde Man, was Greenhouse Antwerp the ideal workspace to kick-start his business. Jasper studied Cross Media Management at Karel de Grote Hogeschool. During his academic years, he received extra guidance in setting up his business. “At KdG, you can sit with someone from Xerius, the social insurance fund that helps you to start up as a self-employed person, on a weekly basis.
Being a city resident, Greenhouse Antwerp is perfectly accessible for Jasper, but Greenhouse’s other assets also played a role in his decision.
“A co-working space like Greenhouse is financially attractive for me, but it’s also better for my focus and for networking,” says Jasper. “I’ve been finding my way to Greenhouse for over a year now. As a result, my company has grown rapidly, my network has expanded and I have already been able to attract new customers thanks to the Greenhouse community”.
In addition to young entrepreneurs, a lot of experienced entrepreneurs are also co-working in Greenhouse. Profiles such as Jasper can come to them for advice: “The experienced entrepreneurs share their expertise with me and help me along the way. Furthermore, the various facilities also make it very qualitative: I can efficiently hold meetings with (potential) clients in the various meeting rooms”.
And what does the future hold for Jasper? “With my ambition I would like to have my own office sooner or later. This is also possible at Greenhouse, and is certainly an interesting option for me”.
Robin Waroquier, entrepreneur and founder of Addmore
A few years ago, Robin Waroquier, 22-year-old founder of AddMore, was also convinced of the advantages of the co-working space of Greenhouse Antwerp. He also studied at Karel de Grote Hogeschool. During his Marketing studies, he started a student business as a side-job, and the desire for entrepreneurship didn’t stop after graduating. That is why he decided to continue his own business full-time. In 2017, we welcomed him to Greenhouse.
“Greenhouse is the ideal place to start as a self-employed person”, he says. “Co-working enables us to receive customers professionally, have our own workplace and enjoy the shared facilities such as a printer, a coffee machine and a kitchen. As with Jasper, the financial picture is also important to him. “It is important to be able to save costs as a starting entrepreneur”.
Because of our flexible work environments, the use of (shared) facilities and reception, and the professional impression they get in exchange for a competitive price, we can help young entrepreneurs in their growth spurt.
Does it excite you to become an entrepreneur as well?
Are you still looking for a nice place to work where you can start right away without any worries? Maybe the co-working spaces of Greenhouse are the perfect location for you! Don’t hesitate to contact us, we will tell you everything we have to offer.