Coworking Spaces

Based on scoping studies Mideast Creatives has developed a grant-making policy for coworking spaces and beehives in the region. So far grants have been provided to coworking spaces in Egypt, Iraq, Sudan, Tunisia and Morocco. These grants aim to create or maintain community spaces where creative entrepreneurs can jointly procure projects, exchange ideas and access services, and support and use technology that can aid their growth individually and as a collective. The sizes of these communities vary from hundreds to thousands of community members per space. They foster a young generation who will collaborate beyond ideological, cultural, political and religious boundaries. These spaces stimulate fresh social cohesion by providing an open space for everyone to connect, express themselves and create and collaborate regardless of all differences. Also, the spaces have a clear economic impact: they help projects grow into sustainable businesses that create jobs and they promote entrepreneurship among youth so that they see entrepreneurship as a serious option as opposed to getting a job from the state.

In 2014 a regional six-day intensive training was organised in Cairo for more than 30 managers of coworking spaces from the entire region to generate knowledge exchange and the exchange of best practices. Mentors, trainers and experts from throughout the region gave expert courses on marketing, space operations, finance, business planning, crowdfunding, digital security and design thinking. A first discussion was begun on how to create a regional network of these spaces.