By Dave Yanko
Working from home need not be the only option for Regina entrepreneurs and freelancers who have limited resources. Now there’s Path Cowork, a fashionable shared workspace on the edge of downtown that provides all the benefits of a modern office—and more—for a membership fee that can be renewed monthly.
The pricing packages range from $35 per day for an open-space seat that comes with all basic office amenities up to a dedicated desk that goes for $475 a month and includes 24/7 building access, unlimited high-speed internet, reception service during working hours and 10 hours of meeting room use.
Justin Lee, general manager of Path Cowork, says the new enterprise addresses one of the primary issues emerging in our changing working world.
“There’s a growing, global trend toward people remote working or operating small businesses based in the home,” says Lee. “Month-to-month contracts for these people are very important. They’re not getting locked in for a year.”
Entrepreneur.com offers a loose definition of “cowork” as a membership-based workspace where diverse groups of freelancers, remote workers, and other independent professionals work together in a shared, communal setting. At Path Cowork, which celebrated its official opening in September after a two month ramp up, several larger, permanent anchor tenants have been added to the mix. And some of them are very, very good neighbours to the 20 or so independent entrepreneurs who are part of the Path Cowork community. “We believe that entrepreneurs and businesses that collaborate have a stronger path to business success,” says Lee. Young entrepreneurs at Path are working in a very supportive environment, he adds.
Path’s 16,000-sq.-ft. facility is situated on the northeast corner of Broad Street and Victoria Avenue on the second floor of a building adjacent to DoubleTree by Hilton. Its anchor tenants include Regina’s well-established Leo’s Hospitality Management Group and Drummond Group, as well as Economic Development Regina (EDR), which Lee refers to as the core anchor tenant. Within EDR are the offices of Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan, Regina Hotel Association and Tourism Regina. EDR also is home to the Regina office of Square One, a provincial organization that provides a host of services for entrepreneurs, including support and guidance, market research, legal
advice, business workshops and seminars, and access to online resources and tools.
Lee says the idea for a large Regina cowork enterprise grew out of discussions among the three successful Regina business owners who founded Path. They are Matt Pinch, president of Leo’s Group; Mike Ash, vice president of Leo’s Group; and Jason Drummond, president of Drummond Group. “They all grew up in Regina, they’ve had their hands in a number of businesses over the years and they’ve all chosen to remain in Regina.”
In addition to the 20 entrepreneurs paying membership fees, Path is home to about 50 people who work in permanent offices in the building. Lee says Path has the capacity to handle up to 180 people and its supporters and anchor tenants are anxious to increase the number individuals and small businesses using memberships. “The business community in Regina has a big appetite for things like this,” says Lee. “We’re looking to create relationships where people can collaborate and build new things together.”
It’s a sign of the times that two of the entrepreneur tenants at Path are young brothers who own and operate Jimmy’s Cannabis. They have licences to operate four marijuana shops in the province and their investment partners and business consultants work out of one of the anchor businesses in the same space. Path also is home to a videography company that Lee says has landed contracts as a result of relationships built within the Path community, a one-man printing company whose owner is providing business cards to many members of the community, and a tech company that’s building a new app on-site.
Path’s tagline is “Community at Work” and Lee strongly encourages people to drop in for a coffee and see for themselves how that’s playing out at Path. “There’s nothing like this in Regina—this space is incredible. We’re building a community where people can enjoy personal as
well as professional growth, and the excitement here is phenomenal, right across the board.”