Turbine is mainly known for its start-up incubation and entrepreneurial activities. In the view to promote entrepreneurship in Mauritius, it is essential to provide a flexible place of work for talented individuals and professionals that foster a culture of innovation. For that purpose, we created Turbine’s Coworking space.
Shubhda Gujadhur is our newly appointed Community Associate. She is a young, creative and dynamic person who is all about promoting innovation and a healthy community in and around Turbine. She is in charge of Turbine’s Coworking space and shares her experience with us.

Coworking, a new culture of work

There are many things to be said about coworking but none of them will make any sense if one does not understand what coworking is. A quick online search will yield the following result:

“…the use of an office or other working environment by people who are self-employed or working for different employers, typically so as to share equipment, ideas, and knowledge…”

And while that pretty much hits the nail on the head, this definition brings many implications with it.

Think about what you need to be able to work? Your laptop, a plug point for your laptop, a desk, a chair and most importantly a decent internet connection. A space that would offer you all of those is called an office; where you rent your space for a fixed price every month, where you go to work every day to meet the same people and where you sit at your same spot to finish your work.

What if I told you that you could go to work, have flexible rental packages, meet new/ different interesting people every day and sit at a different spot whenever you would like to?  That is the first implication of the co-working definition. Oh, did I mention the free locally roasted coffee that you get?

Coworking vs Traditional work office

The second implication is that there is a particular culture that comes with co-working, one that transcends job titles, years of experience and rigid aspects of blue collar jobs: It is a culture of community; people sharing ideas, consulting one another in their respective fields of expertise, and at times, even collaborating with one another. At Turbine, this is done by fostering trust, diversity and innovation. Co-working brings diversity with it and collaborations between diverse groups of people make the best recipes for innovation.

Another issue that traditional offices have to face is the need to summon external professionals to solve your problems. Say your laptop has a bug: You would need to call a professional in order to fix it. However, it is highly likely that you will find a developer/ IT person in a co-working space that will probably be willing to help a friend out. The same goes for professional advice: Often times when you need specific advice on in specific areas, chances are that you could find someone to give you their expert opinion on it and vice versa.

The final (and favourite) implication of the definition is that you actively and passively participate in building a community of individuals who might have otherwise never met but that still support one another.

Want to try spend a day at Turbine’s Coworking space? See our offers here or email us on hello@turbine.mu

Turbine is happy to see women taking the lead in businesses. We have with us Valerie Imbert, a woman entrepreneur who proves that entrepreneurship is genderless. Valerie is an ROI marketing strategies expert with the skills of deriving and fully implement budgeted marketing and communication action plans. She is also the managing director of Europestone Management, a company offering creative brand strategy, targeted public relation and marketing structure.

Valerie shares with Turbine her experiences as an entrepreneur, a woman and a mother.

A woman entrepreneur’s journey

Hello Valerie. 

  1.  Tell us why you have chosen to become an entrepreneur.

I am a person who is very project-base. I like to do things differently, be challenged and meet new individuals. I chose to be an entrepreneur 2 years ago because the previous business model of being a manager or director in an organisation was no more convenient to me. I have 3 years cycle in different companies and then i was always bored by my job. I decided to change business model – big jump for someone like me who was quite afraid of various insecurities and who was a very corporate person. To be honest, I am very happy of this move!!!

  1. Describe one day of your entrepreneurial life. 

My morning routine is as follows; I wake up at 6 am, drop my son to school at 8 am, go to the gym up to 9 am. At 9:30 – 10 am, I start working. I have a lot of meetings with clients, spend a lot of time on the phone negotiating and juggling between clients of completely different fields, and/or do marketing/administrative work on my laptop. I usually either have a rapid lunch or a business networking lunch. I finish working around 4:30-5pm so as to be home for my 8 years old son homework. 6 pm is the start of play time with my 2 years old daughter up to 8 pm when both of them go to bed. Sometimes, I need to work 2 or 3h more after dinner but most of the time, i spend my evening with my husband, chilling out.  

  1. Is it convenient to be both an entrepreneur and a mother? 

200% convenient. All mothers should be entrepreneur ! lol. Even if you need to have this state of mind but being an entrepreneur allows me to have flexible time and when you are a mother, you need to be able to master your time. Being an entrepreneur allows me to go and fetch my son after school and have an ice cream with him or a half day fun, and then work after dinner to catch up. I can handle all the tasks of the house, do the shopping, have personal time for my sport or wellness. i would never be able to do all this if I was an executive working 7 am-8 pm. I feel that every single hour of my day is optimized and I can fully benefit from both my work and family.  

  1. Will you encourage other women to start their business? 

A big YES for all the above reasons. and also because i think that women are very organised and skilled to be entrepreneurs. Many women lack confidence in themselves unfortunately. Mauritius is still a very ‘macho’ society where we need to stuggle. I now have the choice to work with whom i want: that’s a real freedom.     

  1. What does Turbine’s co-working bring to you and your business?

Turbine has been very interesting for me. At first I was working from home and this was not so convenient with the kids. Turbine has allowed me to really separate my private life from the professional one. When i host my clients at Turbine, it is more serious and convenient than at home.

The nature of my activities allows me to be able to work in an open space – we don’t need archives, we do not have confidential documents, everything is dematerialized. Having a staff also, i wanted her to have a social life and colleagues in a good atmosphere. I chose Turbine also initially because it was 2-5 mins from my home – school – gym and supermarket. This village-lifestyle created by ENL is fabulous in moka.  

Also, Turbine co-working has allowed me to have 2 new clients!

  1. How did you and your employees feel working from Turbine?

Turbine has a very nice atmosphere. We are leaving because my family is moving to the north of the island but I do not think that I will find a better place – which is also very good value of money. I would highly recommend Turbine, i currently recommend and will continue to do so. 

Thank you Valerie! We wish you all the very best in your endeavors and keep inspiring others in your journey!