Mama CoWork

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Mama CoWork : Coworking for parents, creative care for children, development workshops

Warsaw, PolandWarsaw, Poland
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Mama CoWork creates co-working office for mothers: self-employed, freelancers, part-time-workers, job-seekers. It enables them move towards work by offering: space (office/equipment), time (childcare/creative activities), networking, qualifications development and job incubator (virtual job agency).

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if mothers can share working space with other parents, have direct access to job/internships offers, get support in their carrier paths, an
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

DIRECT PROBLEM high female unemployment rate due to mother’s exclusion from labor market. Being a mother worsens women’s chances on the market, especially the self-employed. Staying at home with a child combined with home duties makes professional goals impossible to achieve. Open hours of crèches are inconvenient, their number is limited, financial/psychological costs of separation are high. FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEM whole EU society is getting older.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

This vicious circle of women’s exclusion from the labor market would be broken if time, space and development opportunities were provided. In short-term Mama CoWork enables mothers move towards work, make better use of their professional potential, increase employment opportunities. In long-term it will have positive social impact on EU scale: self-sustained flexicurity model based on new tendencies of more flexible labor market and networking. Creating the MODEL PLACE that links together co-working space with child care/activities as well as trainings, career counseling, job incubator. This self-sustained holistic solution combines few areas (unemployment, learning) and is flexible to change according to the needs of clients/the market.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Imagine you are a young mother spending time with your child, willing to do your work. You work at home, manage your time between mother the child, work for an employer, search for new jobs offer. You are full-time mom and part-time worker who desperately ‘hunt’ for more time. Sometimes you feel lonely, not sure if your qualifications are up-to-date. You wish to have contact with people who share similar problem. Why not to find a coworking office designed for parents? Would it be possible to bring the child and find professionals who will take care of her/him there? Mama CoWork meets your needs! We offer flexible time, safe environment, development training, job offers, and facilitate contacts. You gain more time, feel more empowered.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

In 2012 in Warsaw more than 18847 children were born. Providing that only 1% benefits from the solution, target group counts ca. 180 clients. Mama CoWork is not only a place, it is an idea to enable mothers move towards work. It answers specific needs: possibility to merge private life and career development with child care; physical well-being thanks to a reduction of the dilemma child well-being vs. career development. According to Polish Agency for Enterprise Development, the crucial feature that differs male and female enterprise is ability to balance family and work. Mothers fall out the labor market, become dependent on partners, their self-esteem/career chances lower. If Mama CoWork proofs that the solution is effective, policy makers’ awareness of the problem will be risen. It might be integrated in social policy as systemic model solution. Intersectoral collaboration is crucial.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Mama CoWork ambition is to assure the benefits for the whole family (double income) thanks to model solution that might be taped to do system change with effect of decreasing unemployment. It is simple to replicate and could be implemented in the EU states with necessary modifications regarding local needs. Model can be disseminated as a franchise. Long-term: the awareness change based on positive feedback of 80% clients; systematic growth of clients’ number (45 permanent, 20 temporary in 1st quarter of 2016); double number of trainings in 2nd year; supporting the development of children.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The solution has its business part - one of the streams remain clients’ payments. It is a social innovation/model solution to increase employment opportunities. Part of its funding might be public: local, regional, or national level. NGOs that support projects addressed to mothers, socially excluded women, other initiatives social by nature. EU support: EU stimulates innovative activities. In the future Mama CoWork might gain franchise revenues.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Our benchmark: co-working offices, mother’s cafes, day-care baby-clubs/nurseries, job agencies. All deliver services that are combined in Mama CoWork to create synergy which allows to lower prices and be competitive. Other inspired benchmark are workplace nurseries, but Mama CoWork is for mothers with flexible workplace. Mama CoWork differs by offering: SPACE 10 co-work places, children room, training room; TIME safe time: mother and child go to the same place; gain time: time without child; DEVELOPMENT workshops, consulting; children activities; CAPACITY BUILDING: job incubator, peer-network.

Founding Story

Mama CoWork was born in a head of a mother (free-lancer in creative sector). It was one of these stormy days in autumn. She was bringing her child for 3 hours to the nursery. She knew she had much work to do and was desperate go back home fast. In the changing room she spent too much time. It was no time left to go home, so she decided to work in a near café. She drunk too much coffee, ate unhealthy cookies spent too much money… She found out how difficult is to combine mothering with working and started to dream about a place where people like her might work, leave children in another room, meet others, exchange ideas, develop skills…She talked with parents and discover great need for a solution that will help to find work&life balance.


Mix of people from all the sectors the partners steam from: people with management experience, IT skills, PR skills, knowledge on children education, trainers, career councilors. We plan that management of Mama CoWork will be participative and innovative. It will involve employees at every level in contributing creatively to its development. Mama CoWork will have a flat organizational structure with elements of matrix structure.