Great entrepreneurial ideas come from people, but also from environments that foster creativity, provide support and that lift people to help them to go further. This is part of why co-working spaces- places where creatives and companies can rent space by the desk or the week - have exploded around the world as hubs for people to go to, to make their dreams happen, and to keep the motivation and the energy up.
And here, the name BizDojo has been synonymous with co-working since they started on Karangahape Rd in 2009. Founded by Jonah Merchant and Nick Shewring, they grew from a few people at 12 desks to now having thousands of residents, and a string of coworking and collaborative spaces across New Zealand, with some big plans for 2018.
They were also a big part of bringing GridAKL into being - that many in Auckland tech will know, spinning up the original GridAKL prototype space, and later running coworking, networking, business support, events and activations in a new permanent building. With BizDojo spaces and events across New Zealand they’ve played a role in thousands of creative enterprises and have been keen to give back when they can, having taken leadership positions in the industry.
Like last year, when they ran a survey around mental health issues facing entrepreneurs under their initiative designed to support and help founders in New Zealand - Founders Central. They found some concerning stats. Most respondents had faced problems, and most of them had not sought help due to stigma, time or resource concerns.
This is a problem that is perhaps built into the culture of the founder that goes further than the normal to win, but it is one that needs to be talked about. Very recently the local scene lost a wonderful man that many of us worked closely with and rode the rollercoaster of this life with, and that really hits home how hard this can be, and how when what we do is not ordinary we need to have extraordinary support in place.
As part of highlighting this issue last year, BizDojo co-founder and Chief Entrepreneur Nick Shewring talked about his own experience in the context of his success and life, and how asking for help and being honest about the ups and downs is important.
If anything we talk about in the podcast today leaves you wanting to talk about your experience please do reach out to Lifeline on 0800LIFELINE.