New “pod” sows the seeds for business success
Published by Becki Ord for City South Manchester in Housing and also in Communities
Yusuf Polin, owner of Manchester Property Maintenance, get down to business at The Pod in Moss Side.
A groundbreaking new community hub has opened its doors in Moss Side to help fledgling businesses sow the seeds for success.
The first businesses have now moved into The Pod, a business support centre on Princess Road. The facility is a joint venture between City South Manchester Housing Trust, Mosscare Housing and 1Bubble Enterprises.
Close to Manchester city centre, The Pod aims to help start-ups, home workers, freelancers and existing businesses ready for the next step, by providing affordable office space at a fraction of the cost of local office rentals.
Business advice and networking opportunities are also available to help small enterprises grow. The Pod offers hot desking, work station rental, meeting space, internet access and business support services.
By working alongside other entrepreneurs, small business owners will also benefit from networking, collaborating, exchanging ideas with other like-minded professionals, and avoid the isolation often experienced by home-workers and start-ups.
Facilities at The Pod include free high-speed broadband access, colour printing and scanning, meeting rooms with presentation equipment, kitchen facilities, landline rental and informal meeting spaces.
Small business owner Yusuf Polin runs Manchester Property Maintenance, which provides tradespeople to carry out jobs in commercial and residential properties, is one of the first businesses to start using The Pod.
Yusuf said: “My work often keeps me on the move so the relaxed atmosphere was very welcome compared to our other offices. The Pod has all the facilities I need to help me grow a small business yet combines the flexibility of only paying for what you use - it's great value for money.”
Social entrepreneur Sara Krenicky of SK Digital Consulting, a website hosting, maintenance and search engine optimization service aimed at start-ups, freelancers, micro and small businesses, is also making the most of The Pod’s facilities.
Sara said: "I've been using the hot-desk facilities at The Pod for a month now. It's such a professional working environment and a place where I can be really productive. I also use the space to host client meetings. The Pod staff are always on hand and are very supportive. For my business it’s a perfect space and offers great value for money.”
SK Digital Consulting is a social business which employs women who need to work from home due to their circumstances. They might be a carer, have health issues or look after their child which prevents them working full time in a business environment.
The Pod is part of City South’s wider work to promote enterprise and employment in the areas in which they work.
Dave Power, Chief Executive at City South said: “The Pod is a great initiative and is a further step in supporting the huge amount of talent in Hulme, Fallowfield, Moss Side and Whalley Range.
“Along with The Works, a social enterprise that supports local people back into work, and our Enterprise Network, where we bring together businesses across South Manchester, we and our partners are making a significant contribution supporting local employment.”
For more information on The Pod visit www.thepodmcr.co.uk
1Bubble Enterprises is a boutique consultancy, specialising in providing skills and knowledge to start up businesses. They work with a range of clients from individual entrepreneurs to communities, the third sector, health and social care sector and commercial companies where entrepreneurial expertise is required.