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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.

Greenhouse Antwerp; Robin & Jasper Greenhouse Antwerp; Robin & Jasper

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.

In the Greenhouse co-working space, you will also meet co-workers who started a business during their student days: meet Jasper Dockx and Robin Waroquier.

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.

Especially tech and digital marketing companies seem to be popular amongst student-entrepreneurs, think of examples such as Kreatix (started at Karel de Grote Hogeschool ) or Intracto.

 

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!

Meeting room CCR in Greenhouse BXL Meeting room CCR in Greenhouse BXL

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.

*Note: the blog was originally written on 24 September 2020 and has been revised and updated for completeness.

Sources:??BusinessAM,?Economie.fgov, TAKEOFFANTWERP, Unizo, VETO & Vlaio

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