She’s already raised $1 million for its expansion!
Alex West Steinman is the co-founder of The Coven, the first woman-owned and first Black-owned co-working space in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Black Enterprise reports. Steinman launched The Coven with co-founders in 2017, billed as a “community space to help women, transgender, and non-binary people to become confident leaders.” They had to temporarily close their physical space during the COVID-19 pandemic, subsequently launching a digital platform to keep members connected. They currently offer digital plans, workspace plans and team plans, with conference room access as low as $50 an hour.
“As we reopened and members started coming back, we saw an increase in team and private office interest. Today, we are at 100% capacity in private offices,” said Steinman.
While traditional office environments have suffered post-COVID, many have begun flocking to co-working spaces like Steinman’s, which has left the market wide open. They offer community, professional development courses online and monthly mentorship sessions. As a result, Steinman has begun working to franchise The Coven, raising $1.3 million so far to expand nationally.
The Coven boasts three distinctive offerings not available in traditional workplaces which include the ability to uniquely design inclusive spaces, the marketing skills necessary to build brands and mentorship opportunities. Steinman partnered with Minnesota’s Dogwood Coffee Co. for her Lake Street corridor offices, the first franchise location in Minneapolis, and is looking to recreate similar partnerships in other markets including Illinois, North Carolina, and California.
“[Our] skill-sets and capabilities allow us to support franchises and ensure they can thrive as business owners. We’re really excited to be at this stage and support more entrepreneurs,” she explained.
The Lake Street corridor is a bustling area and vital to the revitalization of Minneapolis. Hit hard by the 2020 uprisings following the murder of George Floyd, Steinman said it was important to “invest in the communities [she wanted] to see thrive.” That location currently has a 50-plus person waitlist for entry and Steinman says this is only the beginning. The first three franchisees will open late this year with another 10 expected in 2024. She’s raised a total of $2.9 million since 2019 for expansion and she and her co-founders are focused on identifying underserved markets nationwide with a focus on growing “intentionally and sustainably.”
To learn more about Steinman’s work at The Coven, click here.
Cover photo: Meet Alex West Steinman, owner of the first Black woman owned co-working space in Minneapolis/Photo Courtesy of The Coven/Black Enterprise