In this Q&A, we talked to Pascal Derrien – General Manager at SPADE Enterprise Centre.
# Tell us about you and your company?
SPADE Enterprise Centre is a community-based enterprise centre which was opened in 1990 in the converted St. Paul’s Church at North King Street in Dublin 7. The initial purpose of SPADE was to assist local unemployed people to successfully set up their own businesses. Nowadays the Centre host a range of new and developing businesses in our EHO Approved Food Production Kitchens and high quality modern serviced office spaces. We currently license our main building and three separate premises to more than 30 businesses and their 155 staff including Social Enterprises, Tech Start-Ups, Professional Services, and innovative Food companies.
Our primary objective is to help pre-start-ups and young companies by offering an inclusive and incubating environment in the heart of Dublin. In turn, this allows them to focus solely on their mission, establish strong foundations, and grow. Over 30 years we have helped the creation of more than 250 businesses, the creation of 1000+ jobs, and more than 300 million worth of revenue was generated from our premises.
# What makes you stand out from other companies providing office space to rent?
Simply put our ethos. SPADE Enterprise CLG is a Not For Profit organization with charity status. As we are not a commercial entity per se we do prioritize applications and hosting from Social enterprises, B Corp or any company with a strong sustainability footprint whether locally or nationally.
# Tell us about your goals for the remainder of 2020?
Our goals for the rest of 2020 are probably similar to many other companies we need to protect our P&L and cash flow especially since we are not funded despite our CHY status. But we also look at pushing the boundaries by exploring an e-commerce COOP opportunity in order to promote and sell the services and products of our licensees. This would be an add on to their original channels. It’s a work in progress but we are moving quickly on the scoping aspect of the idea.
— SPADE Enterprise Centre CLG (@ClgSpade) June 22, 2020
# Do you have any new initiatives planned for 2020?
Not 2020 in particular but we are working on a Shared Kitchen Project with Enterprise Ireland which should come to fruition in around 2022. Baseline, scoping and initial pre-planning authorizations are going well and we are very excited by this strategic and innovative move. For those who may not be familiar with the concept. Think Co-working space for the foodies. Amid the current pandemic, the demand remains very strong for food units so much so than we are currently converting one of our stand-alone office units into a kitchen unit.
# How is your business responding to the COVID-19 pandemic?
All things considered, we are resisting well partially because our customer base has been resilient but also because we have parked all non-essential projects. All the tactical elements of our business have been scrutinized to death and we are really focusing on efficient and diligent run management. We also took some bold steps and changed some of our suppliers and renegotiated with others for example but I think most businesses have done just that.
How about renting an office in SPADE Enterprise Centre from a 2020 accredited AIBF Business All Star company.
# Do you have any offers right now?
On the offices front the demand is picking up and we are witnessing a ‘’work from home fatigue’’ based on our engagement. Personally I don’t think it will be either or the future of work can be the result of a binary approach. I think it will be hybrid and small offices will have a role to play in terms of collaboration and exchange. Remote work has its own boundaries. In terms of offers for example we have a few offices vacant and any companies joining us before October 15 will be rewarded with a month free rent.
# Is there anything else you would like to add?
As we have officially entered into recession I genuinely think the SME ecosystem will resist better and rebound quicker than the corporate world simply because we are more agile, creative, and efficient. I also believe some great companies will be created as a result of the pandemic and I am looking forward to hosting and guiding some of them over the next 18 months. Remember small but mighty.
# How can people find you and get in touch with you?
Feel free to contact me directly on Linkedin or through the usual social outlet’s LI Twitter Facebook or call our reception on 01 617 4800