Entrepreneurs and small-business owners thrive better in a community

Entrepreneurship is no easy feat. Although it can be highly rewarding – just ask any entrepreneur what their first big win felt like – it can also be a tough slog. Along with hard work, late hours and endless emails, it can feel like there’s a huge weight constantly on your shoulders. So, it’s therefore extremely beneficial to be part of a community – one where like-minded people not only know what you’re going through but can offer advice and support.

Research has shown that occupational loneliness is higher in entrepreneurial positions, heightened by the higher rates of stress and burn out. Being a part of a community can alleviate this problem in part by providing a network of people who can relate to the job title and provide everyday social interactions. In doing so, entrepreneurs can feel a greater sense of belonging and understanding.

Dr. Pragya Agarwal wrote for Forbes, “Combined with the pressures of starting and setting up a business, it is hard to be the leader, the person responsible for all decision-making. It is tough at the top.”

A sense of community can give leaders a sense of not doing it alone or an outline for discussing tough decisions that arise.

Fabien Pataud, Founder of Pataud Consulting and tenant of the shared workspaces, Waterman Business Centres, says that being in a shared workspace has not only given him more business from interactions but provided him with meaning relationships. “I’ve developed some really deep personal relationships with the people here,” he explains.

“I’ve got some really, really awesome friends now, which for me is far more valuable than business. It’s a really good community,” he added.

Being part of a community also allows for increased interactions, which can at times lead to business partnerships, connections and networking opportunities that end in more business.

Andrew Mullett, Co-founder of On Point Digital Solutions and another tenant of Waterman Business Centres, says that being a part of the community has helped him socially.

“Being a member has allowed us to meet people who we wouldn’t have met from working at home – definitely put us in front of a lot more businesses”, he explains. “It’s very easy to strike up conversation here and it’s definitely helped.”

Being in a supportive and like-minded community can help any entrepreneur thrive and prosper.

This sense of community can be found by attending regular industry events, engaging in discussions online, such as on LinkedIn, or joining a business hub or workspace centre.

Marnie Vinall, Publicist, 3 Phase Marketing

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