Co-working spaces as new places of informal learning, collaboration and entrepreneur support
France used to be late regarding coworking experiences compared to others european countries. But, since few years, it has changed ; France hosted major events such as the European Conference about coworking in 2012. France has now more than 60 coworking spaces. Regional and local authorities, as well as development agencies such as La Fonderie in Paris area, support coworking with organising calls and events about this topic. Actually, coworking has become a tool for public policies and economic development.
French coworking was born in Paris and therefore it is in this area where the public sector is the more involved. In 2012, La Fonderie, digital agency linked to the Conseil Régional (local government) supported the European Conference about coworking and the CoWorking Week-end (mid-September, 3 days to promote this work organisation). The Ministry of Industry recognized that coworking was an important factor for innovation and economic development; it encouraged the dissemination of La Cantine (see below) model.
In Europe, most of coworking spaces are private initiatives launched using a « bottom-up » approach. In France, nevertheless, the situation is more various. According to a study from 2008 initiated by Silicon Sentier (parisian association) and TVT INNOVATION (parisian SME), regarding 17 major coworking spaces, only 6 were the result of private initiative. Others were built on a partnership between private and public sector (3 of them) and 8 of them are associations.
Good practices examples in Paris area :
L’Atelier is a public actor working for social and solidarity economy in Paris.
· La Fonderie
La Fonderie is a digital agency in Paris area. It is a very active support of coworking experiences.
· La Cantine
Coworking is a space focusing on new technologies. La Cantine was the first coworking space in France in 2008. Since its begining, it has been supported by the local government (Conseil Régional & Mairie de Paris).
· Studios Singuliers
Studios Singuliers is a coworking space hosted in a building dedicated to innovative companies. One of his founders, Basile Samson will come and present us their work.
· La Ruche
La Ruche is a coworking space dedicated to social entrepreneurship.
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Coworking are spaces focusing on boosting women entrepreneuship.