The Waxhaw Entrepreneurs has changed its name to Waxhaw Entrepreneurs Business Incubator and Co-Worker (WE InC) and they are showing off their new look, new name and expanded focus in downtown Waxhaw.
WE InC is located at 216 West North Main St. in Waxhaw and is in the Niven-Price Building, which is owned by the Town of Waxhaw. The organization was originally called Waxhaw Entrepreneurs and was started in 2012 as a business incubator but over the past year a need was identified to move beyond just being a business incubator, although that is still a core component.
The expansion features co-working space, dedicated shared office space, a conference room, refreshment bar, secure and fast WiFi, business class printers and fax machine, a physical address for business mail and office landline among many amenities.
A business incubator helps entrepreneurs in a shared space with assistance from advisors offering pro-bono work to incubations, access to business canvas and other small start-up workshops and coaching, mentoring and support to keep incubations accountable and on track.
Numerous networking events such as Entrepreneurial Saturdays, pop-up markets and book discussions are also held monthly.
“It’s like a chicken in an incubator where they start out their life,” said Karen Johnson of We InC. “Every incubator is different because it fits the need of the town at the time. It has now evolved into adding co-working space as the needs of the community evolved.”
Waxhaw Downtown Development Manager Curt White said We InC will enhance an already thriving downtown business climate.
“What we have done here in partnership with originally the Waxhaw Entrepreneurs is to try and create something there is a big demand for,” White said. “It is unique in western Union County. It is a place people can come and network, and co-work and incubate their businesses in a cool environment right here in historic Waxhaw.
“This fills a need in the community for meeting space and co-working space. It’s a place where one can come and have a dedicated place to work. We are proud of it.”
People will have a work space with a coffee shop feel, that also comes with coffee, with really nice tables and chairs for work and there is also a conference room and photo/video studio. But working in a large open room is not the only option as business people can opt for a dedicated space that has the feel of a more traditional office.
“We get requests from people all the time in Waxhaw, ‘Where can I go work. Where can I hang out,'” White said. “This place fills what is really becoming a national trend. You can have the more coffee shop feel or have the more traditional office feel.”
We InC has not only received support from the Town of Waxhaw but many local businesses have become sponsors.
“They are usually bigger businesses in the area that say they want to support small businesses in the area,” Johnson said. “We are trying to build a strong small business community to bring people in their houses out to start co-working and brainstorming and build a small business community in Waxhaw.”