As well as catering for up to 75 visitors, the space will also play host to weekly events designed to support and encourage entrepreneurs and small businesses, working with organisations such as Start-Up Britain and Enterprise Nation.
The move was stimulated as a result of research conducted by O2 at the peak of the recession, which found that fears over the stability of the economy could be forcing over 50,000 small businesses a month to close down their offices.
O2 found that, at the time, over one in ten had chosen not to renew a lease on an office or business premises and are now working remotely or from home.
Simon Devonshire, Head of SMB at O2, said: “Getting rid of the office relieves many small businesses of a major overhead very quickly and shows a rapid response to current economic pressures. The technology and mobile communications sector is well placed to enable that change and provide one-stop-shop support, and with our passion for small business and entrepreneurship, we’re proud to be working with Telenomics for the launch and trial of the O2 Workshop space.”
The Workshop forms part of the latest and largest store in O2’s estate.The new store, which spans 4500 square feet over two floors, will be run by Telenomics Ltd, an O2 franchise business founded in 2007 by Amar Radia, Adarsh Radia and Asad Hamir.
In addition to the Shop itself, which is complete with an express till, comfy consultation areas and the latest live handsets in a fully interactive environment, the O2 Workshop space includes:
- Open Work Stations for up to 10 people with access to power and wireless printers
- Customer Lounge with soft seating, tablet devices for browsing and free hot and cold refreshments
- 4x Semi-Private Meeting Rooms each able to hold up to 4 people with access to LCD screens for presentations
- Seminar Room for up to 30 people in lecture format, featuring interactive white boards for presentations and seminars
- Private Conference Room with interactive white board facilities for up to 10 people
- Concierge Bar for customer enquiries and booking facilities
- O2 Guru Bar with a dedicated business O2 Guru offering advice and business specialist appointments
- O2 Wifi which will be free and open for all customers
- Customer Toilets including accessible facilities
In reflection of O2’s ongoing commitment to champion small business, Telenomics will use the O2 Workshop to host an ongoing programme of networking events and seminars, targeted at small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation, and co-founder of StartUp Britain, said: “Our aim is to fill the new O2 store with entrepreneurial energy. We’re delighted to be working with O2 and Telenomics to host a variety of workshops in this new and exciting space. Each week, there will be StartUp Saturday classes to help people become their own boss, tech tips and techniques on offer in Tech4StartUp Britain Week, and a day full of workshops on the topic of international trade during Global Entrepreneurship Week.”