Parentpreneur (Pair-rent-preh-new-er): The future of work + family

The Cause

To create a space, and a culture, of acceptance for business owners who are parents.

The idea is an extension of the work we strive to do as entrepreneurs, as a Cowork space, and as a hub for social enterprise. Among our values, we have a high regard for business owners who are actively balancing the role of a parent while being an entrepreneur (Parentpreneurs). We have a vision of creating professional spaces that are child and parent friendly, hoping to even transition beyond accommodation to integration.

Prior to 2015, there were very few cowork spaces in Calgary that were not purely tech or energy focused. By 2018, we have no fewer than 30 “cowork” spaces, but only 7 of us adhere to Neuberg’s Coworking values: Community, Openness, Collaboration, Accessibility, and Sustainability. We Cowork; we do not just offer desks for rent; we were founded by Entrepreneurs, not an office management company. Putting social impact “first” at the centre of business development in all stages from ideation to capital raising separates us from all others in Calgary.

We currently partner with a fully licensed daycare in the downtown core, and offer a membership that includes a seat at any open desk or common area, and 21 full days of childcare for $1597/month. While this is a substantial reduction in costs when compared to obtaining both separately, it is still a significant expense.

Googling “child” or “family friendly” “office” in Calgary surprisingly yields numerous dog-friendly results and ZERO for kids!

Childminding is not unique but it is not typically, if ever, combined in a meaningful way in the workplace. This special category of care in Alberta allows for children to be cared for by another responsible adult, or babysitter, if a parent is in the same building and accessible and technically oversee the care of the child. This greatly reduces costs compared to highly regulated daycares.

We believe that we can do better for Calgary’s Freelance, Solopreneur, and Parentpreneur communities by combining COWORKING + CHILDMINDING. We will offer Parentpreneurs the opportunity to come work, or meet with their clients, in blocks of time that are extremely flexible, and highly affordable, to fit their work schedule and provide true work/life, family/career integration - something just not available in most places, especially Calgary, and something highly needed as people have pivoted from the workforce into entrepreneurship during the recession.

Who Will it Benefit?

Childminding, play, and maker spaces have particular social value for parents and carers of young children, as places for kids, teens and forever-young people to meet informally, taking away some of the pressure of individual childcare responsibilities. Our main aim is to improve the range and quality of play opportunities AT WORK for all ages by creating a pleasant and inviting space for adults and children to play - a coherent space where work and play can co-exist.

We want the social enterprise ecosystem to co-design the space with us:
a) to verify the multitude of variables and considerations that would make this culture attractive to entrepreneurs of all types, engaging for children of many ages, and viable as a business decision,
b) create ongoing opportunities to deepen connections and foster engagement of parents and children as entrepreneurs within a Hub where an accepting, and tolerant, culture is nurtured.

Our society has become quite intolerant of children and their “normal” inquisitive, engaging, lively and yes occasionally loud behaviour. We want our future generations to have inquiring minds, new experiences, and be engaging and engaged. This means they need to be exposed to the entrepreneurial spirit, and entrepreneurs need to be exposed to their creativity and playful ways.

A place where business owners can work and meet other parentpreneurs, and share tips on finding balance, and get help, around issues such as:
a) Feelings of anxiety and fear for both children and the business
b) Embarrassment of being a busy parent
c) Responsibilities that impact parent-life and work-life
d) Dealing with judgments and labels
e) Parenting equality

Entrepreneurs already in the space will benefit. An entrepreneur is a “creative.” Creativity is simply the art of starting. Wouldn’t you say entrepreneurship is all about starting something? Anyone can be creative. Times of play can unite teams, reinvigorate a stale workspace, and birth new ideas. It may feel like wasting time, but it is actually an investment into future work!

We are a social enterprise that fosters freedom and self-expression changing the nature of what it means to work. We level the playing field for all entrepreneurs. Where members co-design investment in each other, the larger community, and the values of Coworking.