Freeman Cebu Business

Co-working space venture born out of a thesis project

The Freeman

Headquarters Cebu

CEBU, Philippines — In reality, most school research projects usually end up as files in the cabinet.

But not definitely the case of Headquarters Cebu, a new co-working cafe in the city, which was conceptualized out of a thesis paper and a market research project of a group of Masters in Business Administration (MBA) students.

These students wanted to turn their theory into reality.

Ryan Hilado, who manages the business, said they had seen the demand for co-working spaces at that time.

"Headquarters started as a market research project in an MBA class. Students and professionals stay in coffee shops to study or work for hours. We wondered if we can set up a conducive place for these needs," 26-year-old Ryan told The FREEMAN in an interview.

After graduation, Ryan, together with his MBA classmates and freelancing friends decided to set up the business, which officially opened mid last month in Vibo Place along Escario St., Cebu City.

Growing demand

"We realized that there is a growing need for students, professionals, and freelancers to have a productive space and serve as a co-working cafe," the young entrepreneur said.

Headquarters sees a lot of potential opportunities in the co-working space business considering a number of working professionals and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) don't have formal offices.

"The co-working space business is somewhat a modern type of business," Ryan shared.

"We are a group of MBA classmates and friends with a dream to provide a space for productivity and accessibility. Our dream is to build a space where people can be productive and be relaxed at the same time. A space where you can stay as long as you want. We want this dream to become a reality," he said.

Coffee shops are being utilized as study or work areas.

"Some establishments discourage this as it affects their turnover rate. With the concept of co-working spaces like Headquarters, customers only pay a minimum hourly, daily, or monthly amount, in order to use the amenities that the space provides such as internet access, ergonomic chairs, and complimentary drinks, among others.

Ryan believes co-working spaces are increasing in popularity.

"Since the concept is new, it needs a modern approach as well. Social media and word of mouth have been the key to its growing customers," the entrepreneur said.

"We are also planning to set partnerships with different schools and companies who look for places for their regular meetings," he further added.

The facility has a capacity of 37 free seating areas and 8 seats in the meeting room.

On a daily basis, the co-working space facility receives an average 30 people.

"As long as the demand for co-working spaces increases, we plan on supplying it," he also said.

Most of Headquarters' clients include students, professionals, and freelancers.

"Headquarters can and will serve any customer that needs a place to study, work, or chill," he said.

The business is owned by 10 investors.

Ryan and his co-investor Joy Soriano are the ones managing the co-working space cafe. (FREEMAN)


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