After providing babysitting services to a Hamilton-Lauraville space last year, The Cowork Cube resumed operations of all 15,000 square feet on April 1.
With the move, the Cube takes over for Coworking community function, which went out of business after more than two years in the main street space of Harford Road.
It brings great expansion for The Cube, which means office space, space to accommodate larger event space, meeting rooms, and spaces for content creation. And he will be able to develop a staffed play area for the children, so that parents can concentrate on completing the tasks. For co-founder Dr Tammira Lucas, who is leading a number of entrepreneurship initiatives in the city focused on families and economic opportunities, it is also a personal step.
“It’s much more important than me to expand a coworking space,” she said. “It really sets the tone for black women entrepreneurs and shows them that it’s possible to do whatever you want to do in business, but also provide space for black women to develop their own businesses and careers. “
The Cube was started by the Lucas sisters and TaKesha Jamison in 2016 from a smaller space at Towson’s Stoneleigh. Lucas said growing up at this point has not been easy. Indeed, new businesses often are not, and the disparities faced by black entrepreneurs have made it more difficult. But with the opportunity offered by the expanded space, Lucas wants him to be a role model for others. As well as looking to continue building community, she is also paying attention to how the business model can be set up for future growth to potentially other spaces.
“Black female-owned businesses don’t last as long or generate as much revenue as white male-owned businesses, and that’s because we don’t design models that will evolve and we don’t think about multiples.” sources of income that we can have in our business to make it sustainable, ”said Lucas.
Lucas is also looking to support other black-owned businesses. In addition to the space she provides, she is making sure to work with vendors in the community and envision an area where people can also purchase products made by black artists and manufacturers.
It will open up in an age of flow for in-person workspace models. Coworking was on the rise before the pandemic, leading to growth of shared workspaces in Baltimore. But the pandemic meant many people were working from home, and even when they reopened, coworking spaces had to put in place restrictions that limited the typical free movement and collaboration that characterized spaces. Lucas believes that with more reopening, people will be looking for a space outside the home to work.
At Function, the model centered around part-time subscriptions that provided access to a private office. The idea was therefore for coworking to be done in the office itself rather than a mixture of shared tables and dedicated desks. There was also a gallery and community meeting space focused on community building in Northeast Baltimore.
Co-founder of the function Gene Ward said the space started to take off after a year and a half. And due to the nature of coworking, which is plentiful in space but understaffed, the company was unable to benefit from many government loans. After the reopening, Function was able to start rebuilding its members, although the rates were lowered.
“The total membership was approaching pre-pandemic levels,” he said. “The income was not.”
Ward thinks the model could have grown over time. But with the short-term challenges of the pandemic, the landlord eventually offered to pay the rent back in exchange for terminating his lease. The Cube, in turn, was approached by the owner with an opportunity to reclaim the space.
Ward said Function is focused on creating a diverse space and has predominantly black members. With The Cube, it will now belong to Black.
“For this to be a coworking business owned by a black woman, I think that’s a really positive thing, especially in Northeast Baltimore,” he said.