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Coworking in Singapore

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Technology has enabled better access to resources and the vast talent pool around the world. In the tiny island of Singapore, a need for creativity, flexibility and mobility has given birth to its steadily increasing number of coworking spaces – where new ventures and collaborations stir up a storm. Taking risks in efficient and organized Singapore may not be a burning necessity for many, but for those who dare, it means inspiring rewards.

At coworking space Kennel, one of the founders Ho Ren Yung, 27, attributes the opening of the quaint working space to wanting to plant this seed of adventure in Singaporeans. When the traditional work environment does not give you much inspiration anymore to expand and innovate, there is no other way but to take risks.

Ho said: “We wanted to see a place where people felt safe and supported to experiment and try new things, to discover their passions and to take risks. Singapore's traditional environment, especially the education system, doesn't really do that.”

Kennel, a coworking enclave nestled in green and lush Dempsey right in the middle of Singapore’s bustling shopping district Orchard Road, is a collaborative workspace for creative entrepreneurs. The workspace brands itself as a space to work and play, complete with programs that foster the creative spirit, plus a coworking community where everyone can thrive in.

Some of the activities and events include developmental programs contributed by members, who have to share their skill sets or talents per month to the whole community in the form of workshops, lectures, or other activities. Fredrik Härén, author of The Idea Book, was invited to speak at a workshop on creativity. Kennel Nights are also a regular fixture, where people get together for a meaningful conversation around a theme.

Its three founders - Ho, as well as Mark Wee and Ken Yuktasevi - believe that the nature of work is changing to blend into life, and that individuals are turning to entrepreneurship and collaboration for new searches into meaning. This global change has proven to have a profound impact on Singaporeans, who sometimes get too comfortable with the status quo.

However, Ho thinks that Singaporeans are now increasingly taking to co-working and entrepreneurship as a lifestyle choice. As a matter of fact, that is what the statistics show too in terms of the number of coworking spaces sprouting up all over Singapore. In 2012, Singapore was new in the top ten countries with the most spaces per capita. The city-state with about five million inhabitants now counts more than ten coworking spaces. 

 “Spaces are popping up everywhere and its growing so much, even the government and bigger companies are getting into it as they see the benefit of diversity in the workspace in terms of inspiring new ideas and ventures,” said Ho.

>> Next page: The Singapore government supports the growth of coworking spaces & home offices(!)

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