Redevelopment in Farsund Harbor
Mona Anita K. Olsen, Ph.D.
University of Stavanger
The charming port of Farsund in Vest-Agder has felt the impact of an entrepreneurial wave lately with the creation of Farsund Coworks (www.farsundcoworks.no). Farsund Coworks is a newly designed 24/7 coworking space on the water whose aim is to make a difference in the community. Inspired by experiences from a coworking space in Kristiansand near the University of Agder, where university, business, and other workers can meet together, Kjell Rune Nakkestad from KRN Coaching (www.krncoaching.no) started a journey to find out more about the design and impact of coworking spaces in Scandinavia. As the research evolved, many opportunities presented themselves. However, with a big heart for Farsund, Nakkestad and others came together to think about how to bring more innovation to their hometown.
After brainstorming over a cup of java at the local Parken Kaffebar, the idea to create a place where entrepreneurs can work together and encourage each other to move forward with ideas became official. Farsund not only had the space and the people but also the history to make Farsund Coworks a reality. Farsund has a tremendous amount of history—from shipping to IT. Its history not only showcases companies that launched and were successful but also others that stayed and are still operating today. You can learn more at Visit Norway (www.visitnorway.com/places-to-go/southern-norway/listings-lister/farsund-city-history/11186). While Farsund Coworks would help support local entrepreneurs wanting to operate in Farsund, it would also be able to help larger companies looking to innovate.
The current maximum capacity for Farsund Coworks is 36 people. Right now, they are working to develop space to take on 12 more people, and they also started talks with other spaces in the area that can be converted into coworking facilities. Farsund Coworks currently has a membership of 20 with the goal to grow over the course of the upcoming year to over 30. Membership is open to all businesses from all countries and from all sectors of industry. The hope is to encourage more international companies to work in Farsund. The membership structures are tiered, depending on if one wants to have rotating access to the space or a fixed office for operations.
Farsund Coworks is following many trends as it plans its operations moving forward. Most importantly, bigger companies are looking for space to borrow to encourage their teams to be innovative outside the company in a coworking space for a period of time. Then, they can bring innovative ideas back to the existing company. This approach is especially popular, as companies want to speed up their time to market, from ideation to execution. Further, coworking spaces allow companies to rethink their culture. As the adage goes, “culture is king.”
When asked about his advice for entrepreneurs, Nakkestad noted a few key points to help entrepreneurs ride the wave. First, believing in your idea is crucial. You have to believe in your idea, product, service, or solution long enough until other people believe in you. Second, time is precious. Finding areas to not only focus but also to minimize distractions will allow for success in a timely fashion. Finally, find a way to keep moving forward on a daily basis. Each day is an opportunity to move forward toward your goals, learning in the process and ultimately seeing satisfaction when the ideation to execution process is complete.
Mona Anita K. Olsen is an associate professor at the Norwegian Hotel School at the University of Stavanger in Norway. She is also the founder of Innovation Barn AS, leading the efforts to launch Yogibana in Norway. Yogibana is an artistic wellness concept fueled by the weaving of yoga and ikebana (Japanese style floral design) together in 12 steps.
This article originally appeared in the October 18, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.