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Cowork Fx refers to sharing a workspace between freelancers, self-employed and micro and small enterprises. A concept that provides a workplace, an exchange of ideas and a community for professionals who typically work alone. An innovative idea transported to Madeira by the young entrepreneur André Loja.

What led you to introduce the system cowork in Funchal?
André Loja: The idea is not unique, since there are other places around the country and the world.

But what led you in particular to bring the concept to Madeira?
AL : It was very simple , I work on audiovisual I'm director who has nothing to do with this facet of business , or an entrepreneur , but in one of those normal searches on the internet I came across the concept that I thought was great. And the idea stuck in my head. A few months later went to Lisbon, by chance, and I visited a place called cowork Lisbon at Lx Factory, and I was in love. I liked the dynamic of groups, the startups, people working together and the concept of open space. I spoke with Fernando Mendes and Ana Dias who are responsible and that day I decided I would bring cowork to Funchal. It's been more than two years; do not know the day, because I did not mark on the calendar.

How you went from idea to action? The choice of the building and the location?
AL: I started investigating possible locations for deploying cowork Funchal and tried to research what types of spaces were needed in physical and financial terms. I started to think more about the project, because until then I just liked the idea. And the big problem was to find a central space. The difficulty resided in the building finding that I intended with the desired areas and at a reasonable price. Hence it took so long to find him, when the space was already set, it was a little further away, at the end of Rua da Carreira, I had already signed the contract and everything, then the former owners of this space that was previously a clinic contacted me, they liked the project and invited me to see the building and I was immediately in love. They are my partners today and we opened this project together, though I manage it.

What are the biggest challenges you face, having overtaken the space issue?
AL: Well, some bureaucracies those are always complicated in terms of works. Issues that are typically Portuguese and do not help much. Nowadays the biggest difficulty lies in explaining a concept where almost no one in this town can understand it.

But what people do not understand?
AL: People are not familiar with the concept, the idea is not to speak ill of the habitants of the city since, and coworking is not a word that is part of everyday vocabulary. I have almost to spell and when I say collaborative work people are scared and think they will work with others, which is not the case. It's hard for them to understand what is a cowork, that they have work areas, common areas, in which can coexist several professionals from different fields, but does not mean we have to work together. People also are frightened by the idea of others see what they are doing and there is not an open mind in this regard.

Now, what are the objectives that you hast for cowork Fx?
AL: The immediate objectives are to attract as many people as possible, micro enterprises and self-employed, we have some thankfully. But we need more to get the momentum we want. Then, slowly, we bet on workshops, seminars and exhibitions. In the second phase, we aspire to open a store on the ground floor, which is a collaborative shop, where people will be able to sell products of Madeira, or made by islanders. We want to implement the incubator , we are making great strides in this direction , i.e. , in partnership with the Municipality of Funchal , banks and other organizations want to support the "start ups " through competitions for ideas that come here and have a program and well-positioned managers to give them advice and help them to form these companies .

Explain briefly what is the system cowork?
AL : In it is heart is a shared workspace for an independent worker , or someone who works for a company , but does not need to be physically in the headquarters, or even a small business .It has your workplace, as in the case of a large company , with its table, a meeting room , one multipurpose room , a pantry where you can have lunch , have an area with equipment , i.e. no need to invest in machines can use our services , we will soon have a plotter for architects. It is a space that creates certain conditions at an affordable price and for people to have a workplace. At the same time, has great flexibility that there is a functional office, because this all included, internet, water, light and cleanings. Furthermore , there is no worry with the contracts , could be here for week, a month, a year , or work alone one day and have a supporting employee next month. There is much flexibility that allows people do not have to worry about the most redundant thing from an office, we worry about that, all you have to worry is to make contacts and meet new people.


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