Jenna Vitosh and Eva Prettyman recognized an opportunity to create more support for female entrepreneurs in Lincoln, Nebraska. After interviewing local women to learn what exactly they wanted and needed in a professional community, they opened Arrive Coworking to provide a space for women to not only work, but also support each other in growing their businesses. We spoke with Jenna to learn more about Arrive and how she’s creating a strong community at her coworking space.
Why did you decide to open a coworking space?
We officially opened to the public August 1. Eva and I met in a networking group for female entrepreneurs a few years ago and realized the lack of support for women starting businesses in Lincoln. We wanted to do something about it, but we didn’t know what, and about a year ago the idea came to us to create a space for women to work together, empower and educate one another, and grow their businesses—all in a shared workspace.
Tell us about your space. What kinds of amenities do you have? What makes it special?
Our space is 3,200 square feet. We have several individual offices, a large conference room, a content studio, a mothers’ lounge, lots of drop-in desk space and living room seating, a kitchen, free coffee, free parking, fast WiFi, and mailing address availability for members’ businesses. The most special thing about our space is the community, which gathers in our twice-monthly networking meetings and our monthly education events to help empower fellow business owners.
What is your favorite thing about operating a coworking space?
The positive feedback from our community has been amazing. Everyone is so supportive of what we’re trying to accomplish! It feels so good to be contributing to our community and making a difference for our fellow entrepreneurs.
What has been the most surprising or unexpected thing about operating a coworking space?
The number of decisions you have to make! We did a lot of research before starting a coworking space which is how we found Proximity to help us with some of the logistics. But there are SO MANY other things you have to plan for and it can sometimes be overwhelming. Especially since we will both continue to run our other businesses, so we have to think about things like, “who’s gonna make the coffee?” which led us to conclude we definitely needed to hire a manager.
What is your biggest piece of advice for someone wanting to open a space?
Do your research! Make sure you know your target market and where the best location would be to reach them. Understand all the decisions you need to make as you’re opening the space. Make sure you understand the costs as well and if you need to hire a manager and how full your space needs to be to afford one. And make sure if you have a business partner that they are supportive and in it 100%! We’ve been lucky to have each other to work together on this and it’s been exciting.