Updated: Sep 17, 2019
Over the course of the last 12 months Tacit-Tacit has been carrying out research into the unmet support needs of freelancers, home based workers and micro enterprises in our local community.
For a variety of reasons it is really challenging to gather data on people who are self employed and working from home, so we decided to find out more about this growing group of people in our own community by setting up Dunoon and Cowal Co-works as a meet -up group locally. The action based research has project has attracted over 35 participants and a further 30+ are members of a related Facebook group.
Over the course of the project we have hosted a freelancer Christmas event, made group visits to brilliant local businesses, including Argyll Financial Services and Argyll Print and Design to nurture a community of support around enterprise. Members of the co-work group have also facilitated learning sessions for the group. For example local well being specialist Dawn Petherwick provided members with a lunch time session to support stress management.
We have also spent a lot of time looking at how economic development policies and the current enterprise support services meet the needs of people who are sometimes undertaking work in challenging industries.
It has been completely fascinating. The project has engaged with software developers who have global reach, marketers who consult globally, people organising archaeological digs and others providing vital therapeutic services across the UK. The vibrancy of our local enterprise community is amazing, but it remains fairly hidden, along with the support needs of workers.
Again and again we have come across people feeling isolated and disconnected from vital networks, people not having access to other people to share ideas, knowledge and skills. We have also come across practical barriers including no local access to business addresses, storage or affordable, flexible hot-desking.
For families on low and unpredictable incomes structuring child and adult care around work is another major challenge. The lack of joined up child care provision in our local area is not considered an economic development issue, yet for the people we have spoken to this is a massive challenge and one that is felt more profoundly by women.
There is loads we have found out but loads we still want to know and people we still want to meet. So, we are pleased to say that over the course of the next three month Tacit-Tacit will be hosting more Co-works meet-ups with the support of the Dunoon Area Alliance and Live Argyll. Meet ups take place the last Friday of every month in the cafe in the Queen's Hall Dunoon.
If you would like to know more about the research or the group, contact us at Tacit-Tacit.
Learn about Dunoon and Cowal Co-work meeting dates here>