Entrepreneurs with childcare responsibilities can find it especially challenging to find work spaces that accommodate their needs. Integrating childcare with shared spaces can make these spaces more inclusive to entrepreneurs at different stages of life.

“It was especially wonderful because I was able to breast-feed, take breaks to see my kids, and I felt I was able to be very involved with what was going on in their classrooms. Nido enabled me to set up a foundation for my business,”

— Ali Rudel, founder, East Durham Pie Company

The Issue:

Being a parent while also shepherding an idea through the start-up process can be difficult, if not impossible for many entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs need time and space to incubate their ideas, and co-working spaces often either do not allow children or do not foster an appropriate environment for children. With nanny or daycare services inconvenient or financially burdensome, parents are forced to compromise on cost, convenience, or time spent growing their businesses.

The Solution:

Nido is an office space in Durham with two classrooms, a nap and feeding room, a 12-person co-working room, a conference room, a kitchen, a lounge and a private office. The concept behind Nido, which was founded after a group of families gathered organically to watch the young children of other parents, is to add child care to existing co-working spaces.

The Impact:

Ali Rudel, a Durham entrepreneur, turned to Nido in order to balance her dream of starting her own bakery with her responsibilities as a parent of two small children. After attending workshops at Nido and obtaining feedback from Nido members, she now plans to open the first storefront in summer 2017. Twenty-eight families have memberships at Nido, and there is a waiting list for spaces in the infant room. The founders are planning to expand to a new, larger facility; the Nido model is being spread through webinars hosted by co-founders Tiffany Frye and Lis Tyroler.

How it applies to your city:

To make entrepreneurship more accessible to people with childcare responsibilities, enablers, hubs, and co-working spaces promote the accessibility of quality, affordable, and convenient childcare that incorporates the needs of a small business owner in your city. Enablers and policymakers should also consider the broader range of economic barriers (e.g., housing, transportation) that might impact entrepreneurs’ ability to take full advantage of the resources available to them.