Co-working spaces do good in Scotland

Did you know that the first official co-working space was set up as a non-profit co-operative? This was in 2005, a mere 11 years ago.

It was founded by American Brad Neuberg who loved working for himself but missed the social interaction usually found in an office environment. Since then, many Scottish entrepreneurs have followed onto Brad’s footstep, their co-working projects often stemming from their own dissatisfaction with working alone.

Four entrepreneurs have recently launched their own co-working space in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Paisley, all with a social twist. They received support and funding from the Ditto programme. Ditto helps budding entrepreneurs get started by giving them funding of up to £5,000 and a tried and tested business model. The co-working business model used by the four Scottish social entrepreneurs was inspired by brilliant TribePorty in Portobello, Edinburgh. The business model manual contains tips on market research, pre-set up planning, business planning, staffing, operational issues and more...

DOK Artist Space, a gateway into art


Karen Fleming and Oliver Turner started DOK Artist Space (DOK), an affordable studio and co-working venue, aiming to boost community engagement and regeneration in Edinburgh. It will benefit artists; allow them to continue developing ideas and projects to engage the community. It will also provide a gateway into art for local people who have previously lacked exposure.

Karen and Olivia studied together at Edinburgh College of Art and both have a bachelor’s degree in Painting.

Karen and Olivia received £2,700 through the Ditto programme to help with their venture.

Karen, Olivia and their team acquired premises at Ocean Terminal in Leith. The building has been converted to house several paying artists and to provide a trendy exhibition space or more temporary studios.
DOK will support a variety of community initiatives in Leith, but Karen and Olivia’s main focus is on young people. They are keen to encourage them to seek inspiration, become involved in arts, and provide tuition and aid.

Fashioned in Glasgow, a unique concept in Scotland

Fashioned in Glasgow (1)  Fashioned in Glasgow (5)

Aimee McBride and Alison Malcolm started Fashioned in Glasgow, a co-working space that will provide a complete support service for start-up fashion designers and labels, as well as offer training and employment opportunities.

Start-ups will be able to rent studio space to develop their collections. They will have access to mentoring, manufacturing facilities including specialist machinery and the opportunity to create small production runs at an affordable price. Aimee and Alison will also offer manufacturing services for external organisations who want to outsource production.

Aimee and Alison received £4,000 in funding through the Ditto programme to help them set up their business.

Aimee and Alison are both well prepared to drive this enterprise. They both hold degrees in Fashion Design for Industry and Production and have taught fashion subjects at Glasgow College. Aimee developed entrepreneurial skills when running a bridal business for 6 years. Alison gained supervisory, team building and people management skills when she worked for Glasgow Council for 12 years.

The profits from the social enterprise will be reinvested into fashion related projects in Glasgow. Fashioned in Glasgow will also offer work experience for fashion students.

Artist Studios, from hats to arts

Paula Cooper is starting Artist Studios, an affordable studio, gallery and co-working venue in Paisley. She hopes to boost community engagement and regeneration. She was awarded £5,200 through the Ditto programme to kick-start her idea. She is working to tie her project in with Paisley's bid to become City of Culture in 2021. Paula also hopes to encourage participation from people who don’t usually engage with art.

As part of running her own designing and manufacturing hats business for six years, Paula ran workshops in schools and museums across Scotland. She is also a business mentor for start-up programme Starter for 6. She decided to pursue her idea after being unable to find suitable space in Paisley for her own business, and discovering many others in the same position.