Harrogate indie business woman pioneers 'big city' idea

A forward-thinking Harrogate entrepreneur trying to set up a pioneering business enterprise for Harrogate says it's time the town did more to support fledgling independents.

Friday, 21st September 2018, 12:33 pm
Updated Friday, 21st September 2018, 12:37 pm
Harrogate entrepreneur Jem Henderson. (1809171AM4)

Based on a successful model already operating in bigger cities like Manchester and Leeds, Jem Henderson is working towards launching what is believed to be Harrogate’s first co-working space.

Based on Grove Road, the aim would helpfreelancers struggling with child care costs and start-ups forced to work in coffee shops or their own bedroom at the moment.

Jem, who lives in Bilton, said: “The goal isn’t to create a sales environment for people already well established, it’s to help people by creating a sense of community.“If a young parent freelancing is earning £8 an hour but child care costs £6 an hour there is a real problem.“The sort of people we want to attract don’t drive four by fours, they cycle or walk to work.”

The new enterprise on Grove Road would offer 46 desks on a flexible basis in low key 'cool' offices created from a former carpet showroom. bringing a social enterprise model to Harrogate’s digital and creative industries.

Jem, 33, who has owned her own business for six years in the innovative technology sector, said her inspiration came from living in Harrogate.

She said: “I first thought of the idea after I read Harrogate council’s economic growth strategy last year. "I could see there was a gap for a project like Indieworx Collective and I thought “let’s do it”."I’m from Harrogate and I’m passionate about Harrogate."

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