On the lookout for an awesome venue for your next project or out-of-office meeting? Need a more structured space to get some work done than working in a coffee shop? Looking to collaborate with other Ghanaian entrepreneurs, startups, or freelancers and tap into creative local, regional and global networks? What you need is a co-working space.
The Value of Co-Working Spaces
Ghana is teeming with young entrepreneurs who are constantly creating, innovating and toying with new ideas, to change their lot or someone else’s. Over the years the need to network and collaborate has created a thriving scene for techies, innovators, and businesses through co-working spaces and tech hubs. Having an office in Ghana is generally regarded as a sign of professionalism; as such these spaces add credibility to start-ups, freelancers and solopreneurs operating in a largely traditional landscape. Many Ghanaian or Ghana-based co-working spaces have gone a step further to offer more than just affordable desk space and internet access to aspiring businesses. Just about every hub listed below offers some advisory service, resource or networking platform, in addition to desk space, to ensure the success of technology professionals, entrepreneurs, and freelancers. Co-working space and hubs have also become communities for brainstorming, organizing and connecting like-minded people who share a passion for resolving prevalent social challenges in Ghana and beyond. Below is a list of some awesome Circumspecte-approved tech hubs and co-working spaces to check out in Accra, Kumasi and Tamale.
Hours: Mondays – Fridays, 10 am – 10 pm, Saturdays, 10 am – 8 pm
Location: East Legon, Accra (Directions)
The BaseCamp Initiative is a botanical workspace that gives freelancers, entrepreneurs, and creatives a relaxed setting to conduct business or simply catch up with friends over drinks. It is a space that is adaptable to limitless events from workshops to pop up stores as well as film screenings. If you’re looking for a group of people to inspire you creatively this might be the space for you; you’ll have a chance to tap into BaseCamp’s community of experts and budding innovators all of whom prioritize collaboration. They offer walk-in passes for a day as well as weekly passes and a residency membership. As part of their creative business development efforts, BaseCamp also offers seed sponsorships by way of free residency for aspiring creatives and young entrepreneurs. The co-working space also has a learning series featuring innovative creative entrepreneurs.
Location: Cantonments, Accra
A bit different from the coworking spaces on this list, Developers In Vogue is a community and hub for women in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. With gender imbalances in STEM as well as misconceptions about the ability of women in the technology industry, Developers in Vogue has their work cut out for them. Their overall aim is to create social impact through technology and they take a fun and practical approach to coding with boot camps. They prioritize practical experience as a method of learning and encourage their community members to use their skills to develop solutions to community problems while building their professional networks.
Location: Tamale (Directions)
Hopin Academy is an entrepreneurial organization and co-working space in Tamale with a slant towards community development. They emphasize alternative and peer to peer learning by connecting students with the best selection of online material to support their personal goals and objectives. The Academy also hosts local innovators to connect and brainstorm on how their skills can be applied to problem-solving in their communities. This year, Hopin Academy residents participated in a hackathon as part of the African Youth SDG summit on youth-centered solutions to challenges in health and education. As a nexus for Tamale’s growing innovation and entrepreneurial scene, Hopin Academy manages a number of communities including The Tamale Tech Community, Tamale Entrepreneurship Members, and The Tamale Book club. Academy members and the general public can also take advantage of affordable rentals of event spaces and training rooms that range from GHS150-500 depending on a half or full day booking.
Hours; Mondays & Tuesdays, 7 am – 5 pm, Wednesdays – Fridays, 7 am – 10 pm, Saturdays & Sundays 10 am – 5 pm
Location: Osu, Accra ( Directions )
The new kid on the Accra co-working space scene is Kukun, an inspiring and tastefully designed green space located in Osu. It boasts a cafe, bar, outdoor garden and of course office spaces which are available on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Kukun’s spaces are intended for conducive collaboration, brainstorming, and socialization between businesses, freelancers and like-minded people. Their workspaces offer monthly private offices, a training room and a meeting room. The rental ranges from GHS 50 per hour for the 10 people capacity meeting room to about $850 for a month’s access to private offices depending on the number of hours in use and the room capacity. Reliable internet and air conditioning are other basic amenities that make this place a welcoming change of scenery for anyone who works on the go.
Hours: Mondays – Saturdays 8 am – 6 pm, Sundays 12 am – 6 pm
Location: Kumasi (Directions)
As evidenced in its name, this is a Kumasi based tech hub. Established in 2016, it offers a wide range of office space options including training spaces, a makerspace, a hardware studio as well as meeting and event spaces. With 60GHS, their meeting space can be booked for a three-hour session, while their training space goes for GHS 150 and GHS 300 for four and eight hour reservations respectively. Kumasi Hive also has co-working spaces available on a monthly basis at GHS 150. Beyond that, there are various packages to support the needs of entrepreneurs. For instance, their startup incubation programme prepares promising hardware ideas for the market with support in technical mentoring, business plan development and access to equipment. Klaks 3D is one startup which has benefited from the program in making 3D printers from e-waste. The Hive prides itself on providing an environment that spurs prototyping of ideas and supports local change makers.
Hours: Mondays to Fridays, 8:30 am – 5 pm
Location: Ashesi University Campus (Directions)
The Ghana Climate Innovation Centre was launched in 2016 as an incubator to develop entrepreneurs and small businesses in ‘Ghana’s Green Economy’. They have set out to create a network for entrepreneurs to produce solutions and businesses with an approach that will mitigate climate change and its effects. Along with business development skills, mentorship and financing, GCIC hones in on five economic factors; energy efficiency and renewable energy; solar power; climate-smart agriculture; waste management; water purification and management to provide holistic support for clients. Examples of successful ventures GCIC has supported are Global Bamboo Products Limited , Atlas Business and Energy Systems Ltd and Arela Chemicals . GCIC is part of a global network of Climate Innovation Centres that support ‘clean technology ventures’ and foster networking and engagement on addressing climate change issues through innovation. The centre is located on the Ashesi University Campus in Berekuso.
Hours: Mondays to Fridays, 8 am to 7 pm
Location: Osu, Accra (Directions)
On a mission to connect, incubate and innovate, this Osu-based tech hub and co-working space provides a workspace which offers not just high-speed internet access but exposure to a wealth of entrepreneurship advice. Membership options cost between GHS 20 and GHS 200 and include ‘Day pass’, ‘Work Lite’, and ‘A Second Home’ packages to meet various needs including access to meeting rooms, break rooms or an in-house cafe. Impact Hub Accra is part of the global Impact Hub network and prides itself on supporting businesses as an incubator for ideas by providing mentorship, training and even seed capital. Impact Hub Accra steers two main programs: the Health Innovation Program, intended to drive innovative solutions within Africa’s health care systems, and The Makerspace which is a community workshop for entrepreneurs interested in learning within collaborative spaces. It is not unusual to find the hub buzzing with events in support of tech entrepreneurs, students and start-up businesses on weekends as well.
Hours: Mondays – Fridays, 9 am – 6 pm, Saturdays & Sundays – 10 am -5 pm
Location: Spintex, Accra (Directions)
Yet another space for budding tech innovators, the iSpace Foundation has been providing a conducive growing environment for startups since 2013/ Their training programs target innovators at different stages of their entrepreneurial journey. These programs are ‘Unlocking Women in Technology’, ‘Phoenix Kids’ and ‘Code School’. They also offer skills training on personal networking, computer science technology, and software skills development. Looking for an office space for your next startup, team meeting or project? Book a private meeting room, private office or event space at the iSpace Foundation’s Spintex offices. Their monthly membership packages cost between GHS300 and GHS 500 and are comprised of free internet, fully air-conditioned spaces and meeting room access. To foster a sense of community, iSpace also helps provide mentorship and funding for growing businesses.
Hours: Mondays-Sundays, 9 am – 11 pm (MEST Incubator)
Location: East Legon, Accra (Directions: MEST )
If you are an aspiring ‘techpreneur’ you might want to consider this Pan African training program that offers tech startups not just software training and development skills but a strong foundation in the entrepreneurial skills needed to manage successful businesses. MEST has incubators in several locations on the continent but its headquarter training center is nestled in East Legon, where students attend classes on business development, software development, and communications amongst others. Representation wise, students come from about 12 African countries, including Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya, and Ghana. After graduation, they proceed to MEST’s Incubator where they gain access to seed funding, curated events and advisory to support their businesses. MEST pools expertise from faculties all over the world and is noted for providing students with hands-on experience that is crucial to thriving in our emerging economies. Depending on a student’s English proficiency, the training program runs for 12 -13 months and also furnishes students with a residence and monthly stipend.
Hours: Mondays – Fridays, 8 am -5 pm, Saturdays 11 am – 4 pm
Location: East Legon, Accra (Directions)
Soronko Academy is the brainchild of the Tech Needs Girls mentorship program that teaches girls between 6-18 years how to code and create technology. After successfully training over 4,500 girls, Tech Needs Girls founder Regina Honu decided to address the need for more technology and ICT education programs for the younger generation. She scaled up the mentorship program to include boys and other programs to develop entrepreneurship and leadership skills in what is recognized today as the Soronko Academy. Also located in East Legon, its programs are open to children between the ages of 5 and18 years old, children with disabilities, and students and schools who want to add coding to their curriculum. Their space is also available for rentals to other innovators within the technology, women and girls empowerment, and development communities for various events, case in point Circumspecte’s most recent Sisterhood Matters Event (see video above).
Hours: Mondays to Fridays, 8 am to 5:30 pm / Spintex, Accra (Directions)
Workshed aptly proclaims itself an ‘ecosystem of space and consulting services designed to assist in achieving business success’. As a consulting service, it provides start-up businesses with strategic expertise that will enable them to operate optimally. They also have office spaces, including private offices, for individuals or teams looking to conduct business on a full time or on flexible monthly membership terms at prices ranging from GHS 25 to GHS 600. These spaces are also offered in various packages for meetings, events, and photography. Located in the entrepreneurial neighborhood of Spintex, Workshed is a great place to organize events and network with like-minded people as they have a growing community of eager professionals. Their ‘ShedTalks’ or discussion series with seasoned entrepreneurs and professionals offer invaluable insights and tricks of the trade to growing businesses. Want to learn more about how Workshed came to be? Read our guest article from their founder.
Written by Germaine Bombande, Edited by Jemila Abdulai.