The Art of Coworking
Revolutionary Coworking is honored to be featured in the Fayetteville Regional Chamber's Engage Magazine for Spring 2017.
We were thrilled to be asked how we started and how we are helping Fayetteville and the Fort Bragg community to look "...at the future of cowork environments independent professionals, remote work, flexible careers, and portable education"
Welcome to the Self-Help Building, 100 Hay Street, the center of downtown Fayetteville. Originally the First Citizens Bank, the marble columns of the art deco skyscraper anchor Hay & Green Streets. Realtor C. John Malzone understood the vision of Revolutionary Coworking and matched the newly formed Board to the Self-Help Credit Union New Ventures Fund. Self-Help is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) based in Durham and one of the best community-based financing institutions for micro-business.
“That moment, sitting in the Boardroom, the vision we wrote into the business plan became real. We were confident that creating a workspace for milspreneurs, vetrepreneurs, and independent workers was necessary, but to hear Self-Help enthusiastic at housing us and describe our mission as a priority gave us the green light. Our member-run Board signed that lease and sped toward launch.” Hanah Ehrenreich, President, is also the Executive Director of Fayetteville-based regional environmental nonprofit Sustainable Sandhills.
Fort Bragg is called “the Center of the Universe” for airborne and special forces because, during their careers, soldiers from the 82nd Airborne, US Army Forces Command, and US Special Operations Command routinely cycle in and out of Fort Bragg, along with their spouses. Fort Bragg transitions approx. 4,000 veterans a month out of the Army. Many veterans remain in North Carolina and embark on educational degree programs or industry certifications after service separation. Higher education institutions serving GI Bill recipients have added increasingly popular online studies for non-traditional age students.
This is the workforce of the future. Independent professionals, remote work, flexible careers, and portable education. Coworking spaces are popular in urban hubs as workspace that provide all the basics without the startup costs. It is a business model similar to a hotel; the space invests in all the infrastructure, the furniture, the technology and makes its revenue from frequent users. They offer General Coworking memberships, Permanent Desk memberships, and Private Offices. Included in each of these memberships is super fast internet, a Systel copier/scanner/printer, furniture, utilities, security, education, networking, and the convenience of cancelling with little-to-no notice.
On the economic development metrics, Revolutionary Coworking is a powerhouse. The space expects to bring a minimum of 75 new workers downtown. #ShopLocal isn’t a catchphrase to Revolutionary Coworking, it is the model. This influx means real impact for independent Fayetteville businesses.
“We bought our paint from Cumberland Paint & Wallpaper. We’re working with Centurylink on adding fiber internet. We invest in partnerships that benefit our members and our neighbors. This is triple-bottom-line in action.” Hanah Ehrenreich stated.
“Overhead is the enemy. Coworking Spaces radically alter the ability of smaller and startup businesses to operate in the black. For independent workers and solo entrepreneurs, it’s one of a few workspace models that makes sense.” Michael Barbera, CEO of Barbera Solutions and Vice-President of the Revolutionary Coworking Board. He takes an active role in the refinement of the operating model.
Carter Multimedia Consulting operates from coworking. Dalton Carter is the organizer of the Fayetteville Coworking community and Secretary of the Revolutionary Coworking Board. His motto is, “work better, work together”. He sees this workforce struggle with isolation and lack social capital. Coworkers create stronger networks, invest in each other’s businesses, and amplify the local reinvestment multiplier effect.
The standing desks provide a stunning view of the Market House and a city open to creative professionals, small businesses, and feisty startups. The name of the space was inspired by the works of the LaFayette Society. A symbol of the legacy of greatness in this community, and a sign of a new and growing urban workforce that brings great things to come.