You’re likely already familiar with the benefits coworking spaces can offer to entrepreneurs and freelance workers. But a group of entrepreneurial teens are also trying to promote the benefits of coworking spaces for students.
Jessica Kim, Isabel Wong, Tiffany Chang and Liezl Agustin opened a coworking space for teens in Honolulu, Hawai’i, called The Canvas. They came up with the idea during a leadership conference where they discussed issues with the education system. The hope is that the space will add a bit of a social setting where students can work on academic projects. Kim told the Huffington Post:
“We started thinking about mentorship or tutoring … But then we started to think about something bigger, opening a space where people could come and work. There are many students who don’t have the resources to excel in their academics and we wanted to bring a space that highlights students’ strengths.”
The Canvas consists of three small rooms: a main room with workstations, a meeting room that doubles as a classroom, and a library full of donated books. Everything in the space has been built and designed by teens.
The Canvas operates as a 501c3 and doesn’t charge anything for the use of its space, WiFi, workshops, tutorials, or even snacks. Teachers and other professionals volunteer their time to make presentations and tutor students.
Even though the coworking space doesn’t turn a profit, it still took a lot of work and entrepreneurial spirit to get it up and running. The founders are young. But sometimes that youthful energy can make up for inexperience and even lead to some truly innovative ideas. And according to Chang, it’s already been a huge learning experience for them:
“When you’re naive, you don’t set limits on yourself and you keep dreaming and pursuing those dreams. We’re learning every single day what works and what doesn’t work.”
Image: The Canvas