The way in which they approach the idea of community is impactful for local people, especially, because they have access to support and resources on their doorstep, their self-development, says Anna.
Anna has lived in Islington for over 20 years and has witnessed the startup scene flourishing, but always felt there was a need for a collaborative space.
She says that TownSq Islington closed that gap and that it is a space that is as much for the startup as it is for the parent looking to work closer to home, or the freelancer looking for an affordable workspace.
TownSq Islington is home to a thriving community of freelancers, startups and growing businesses, to whom it provides affordable work space.
Through its business support, it aims to be an inspiring space for people to work and connect with other like-minded individuals.
TownSq Islington is based in the White Collar Factory, a stone’s throw from the Old Street Tube station.
Its mission is to harness the power of coworking to provide local people with affordable workspace, where they can connect with others sharing the same entrepreneurial journey – solving challenges and exploring opportunities together.
The history of TownSq Islington
Three years ago, Town Square Spaces Ltd (TownSq) opened their first coworking space in Wales. They work predominantly with local authorities and collaborated with the Welsh Government to operate their first space in Wrexham, north Wales.
To date, they have opened seven coworking spaces, and have another five on the horizon.
“It’s been great to have a model to replicate,” says Anna. They have been working locally through hiring localised community managers within the spaces. These managers are able to stimulate and create a hub for people to come in and join.
Anna says that they have helped over 700 hundred businesses in Wrexham. To date, these businesses still don’t need to pay for the space that they use as it is being funded by the Welsh Government through Business Wales.
This is just one part of the many ways in which they help build the community.
TownSq Islington is the first London based coworking space that TownSq has opened, and also the first space that is not located in a rural area. But, that does not stop them from making an impact in their community.
They are also proud of their certified B Corp status that they have worked hard to earn. “Our ethos is to create social values and stimulate those around us to do business for good,” says Anna.
And they do just that, by fostering the growth of the community and offering startups access to great tools and workshops to help them out along the way.
Fostering the growth of London Startups
Their location has contributed largely to the way in which they can support the growing startup community of Islington.
They are located in Central London amongst many tech companies—almost the silicon valley of London.
Many UK startups relocate to this area to be amongst their people, but also to grow and seek greener pastures.
“We’re trying to cultivate more of a startup community. We want to inspire those who are already here and existing”, says Anna.
Events at TownSq Islington
TownSq Islington fosters growth of their community and offers many workshops where members can learn from experts, as well as each other.
They host what they call the Startup Club. This is an eight week programme that is designed to help startups gain more knowledge and to help grow their businesses.
This free programme is aimed at startups that are still in the early stages of the process and need tools and advice to take their ideas to the next level.
“We do a two hour workshop every week with our local trainer. We specialise in topics such as social media or business canvas or pitching. We have dinner around a massive dining table where the workshop takes place as well,” explains Anna.
This creates a great sense of community, as coworkers really get to know each other on a more personal level, but also help each other out if they need anything.
What really shows how much TownSq Islington cares for the startup community is that during the beginning stage of their business, they can use the space for free and only start paying when they have the funds.
Meet the expert workshops
Once a month TownSq also invites an expert to share their advice with coworkers and member businesses.
This two hour workshop allows coworkers to engage with the experts and learn from them.
It creates a great opportunity for anyone new to the world of freelancing, running a business, or simply making use of a workspace.
Have a look at the TownSq website and keep an eye out for the many events that they host that allow you to learn, grow, and overall become better at what you do. They have many networking opportunities in the making, and other tricks up their sleeve.