In 2015, when Vandhana Ramanathan (30) and Jinal Patel (26) launched their digital marketing agency, they realised that running a business involved a lot more than just having a great idea. Initially, the two marketing professionals from Chennai only worked out of coffee shops but, as they grew in scale, they felt the need to have an office. Yet, this meant spending a lot of time and resources on administrative work, distracting them from solely focusing on the business.
“We realised there must be so many women out there who must be facing similar dilemmas and they must have given up in the process…and we thought let’s make it easy, let’s be that solution,” Patel said.
In March 2017, the duo bootstrapped and launched Wsquare, a women-only co-working space in Chennai that helps entrepreneurs and professionals focus on their work without having to worry too much about office-related or domestic chores. “We come across people who’ve just started or somebody who has relocated from a different city…when they come into a co-working space, they’re looking for a little more than just the (office) space, so that’s something that we do,” Patel explained.
Female entrepreneurs can do with this support. Today, just around 14%of all Indian businesses are run by women, and many female professionals still battle workplace-related issues that deter them from pursuing their careers. It’s this segment that Wsquare is targeting. In the last eight months, over 150 women have registered to use the co-working facility, around 80% of whom are entrepreneurs. The rest are students, researchers, freelance professionals, or remote employees of large companies.
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