For PUNKTcc – Lab for creative industries community: Darja Vresk, market researcher
BACKGROUND AND METHODOLOGY OF THE SURVEY
PUNKTcc – Lab for creative industries, the NGO which runs Coworking Zasavje, was busy this winter with conducting a survey about coworking in Slovenia, where the main topic was coworking and coworking spaces defined by work principles and community.
The survey was conducted within the scope of “Coworking Alpe – Adria” project, which is supported by EFRE project and its main goal was to find out and determine present situation of coworking in Slovenia. Survey data and findings will be used in further activities of “Coworking Alpe – Adria” team to promote collaboration and strengthen the creative and start-up sector in the Alpe–Adria region (Slovenia / Austria / Italy) through coworking.
The methodology which was used in the survey was combination of:
• Desk research, where available secondary data was analyzed and
• Qualitative approach, where ten in-depth interviews were conducted with coworking spaces operators which already operate and those who are at the beginning of their coworking development and coworkers from Slovenia from existing coworking spaces.
The survey topic was coworking spaces which are defined by work principles and community and excluded desk sharing and incubators.
SOME FINDINGS REGARDING DEVELOPMENT OF COWORKING IN SLOVENIA
If we look at the results and findings regarding the development of coworking in Slovenia we can see that the beginnings of coworking, defined by work principles and community, are dated in year 2012.
In Slovenia coworking started in Ljubljana with initiative Slovenia Coworking, at start runned by Eva Perčič and Luka Piškorič from Ljubljana. Beginnings were in January of 2012, when the first event was in Kino Šiška Ljubljana. In Trbovlje Tadeja Bučar, almost at the same time, started active work on finding adherents and the community together created NGO PUNKTcc after her coming back from Berlin, where she was exploring coworking for two years. The third city is Maribor, where CAAP – Center alternativne in avtonomne produkcije in November of 2012 started to work, as a platform of new economies and connecting.
After three years of development, Slovenia now has three coworking spaces, which fully operate: Poligon Ljubljana, Tkalka Maribor (CAAP) and Coworking Zasavje (PUNKTcc). They developed different “modus operandi” – methods of operations, but all of them follow coworking ideology and movement, as it is described on Coworking Slovenia website: “The most important factor is that the coworking space at first determines with the community who is sharing the coworking space. At the most cases these are professionals, individuals or small companies, groups, organisations who work in creative sector. Coworking is not defined by space characteristics but with work principles”.
The period during this survey, from December 2014 until January 2015, was very busy with openings of new coworking spaces. Four coworking spaces were opened: RIIBA Izola, Štartup Velenje, PingPong Trzin and Kreaktor Slovenske Konjice. And there is one segment more, this is strong coworking community and movement in Koroška, Slovenska Bistrica, Murska Sobota, Bela Krajina, who are each at different phases of their development, just waiting for the right conditions (read: in the most cases financial conditions) to start operating in their own coworking spaces.
All, existing and those coworking spaces that are in establishment have one strong common point (except coworking philosophy indeed!), finding their own way of operations to get sustainable financial model for working and development.
With best wishes for coworking community development in Slovenia!