SA co-working spaces firm Workshop 17 eyeing African expansion, but only from 2021


Workshop 17 CEO Paul Keursten has confirmed that the SA co-working spaces company has plans to expand to the rest of the continent — but likely only from 2021.

Speaking to Ventureburn last month, Keursten (pictured above) revealed that the Workshop 17 has plans “on the cards” to set up operations in Mauritius and Ghana.

Presently he said Workshop 17 has a small co-operation agreement with a Kenyan company, without revealing any further details.

However, Keursten stressed that the firm’s immediate focus is on growing its SA footprint, where it has seven locations currently, and that the firm doesn’t have immediate plans to set up operations in other Africa countries, until about 2021.

Workshop 17 CEO Paul Keursten says his company plans to set up co-working spaces in the rest of Africa, but only from 2021

Following the launch of its latest new location in Kloof Street, Cape Town (where Ventureburn is based) in September last year, the firm is looking at rolling out two or three new locations in South Africa.

In the Western Cape, Workshop 17 is looking at Century City and the Southern Suburbs including Claremont. In Gauteng sites under consideration include Pretoria, Rosebank and the Northern Suburbs including Fourways.

Workshop 17 has a 50-50 joint venture with Growthpoint, where the property developer provides Workshop 17 with debt factoring, as well as with a five to 10-year loan facility.

However, Keursten did not want to go into any details of the funding, including how much Growthpoint had so far lent Workshop 17.

He said Workshop 17 doesn’t own any one of the seven properties. Instead each property operates on a lease or management agreement.

Meanwhile turning to what measures Workshop 17 had put in place for tenants and co-workers to ensure power remains on during blackouts, Keursten said three locations had solar-power.

He added that the co-working office firm is looking at sustainable solution going forward, but admitted that storage of energy produced by sustainable solutions such as solar, remained a challenge.

Disclaimer: Ventureburn operates from Workshop 17’s Kloof Street location.

Featured image: Workshop 17 CEO Paul Keursten (Supplied)



Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights. sign up

Welcome to Ventureburn

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights.