We at Raleigh Founded hope that you are having a happy and safe Summer so far. In accordance with RF’s mission to have a “social and economic impact” in both Raleigh and beyond, we’re excited to continue our work in NC’s small towns and counties. Read more about our initiatives below.
At Raleigh Founded one of our biggest initiatives is to promote social and economic growth in the Triangle and beyond. However, helping promote social and economic growth means something different depending on where you are located. Small towns in rural NC are particularly vulnerable to economic hardship, as they often lack access to bandwidth and other resources to support small businesses. Confronted with these problems, one town in Caswell County took a different, more innovative approach to stimulate the local economy, by opening up a collaborative space to bring businesses together.
In 2018, Caswell Economic Development began to explore what it might look like to bring a collaborative workspace to their community. They toured coworking spaces and researched the needs of their own community members. What they found was a deep need for access to broadband internet, central meeting spaces, and professional office space. Prior to this project, community members were parking their cars outside of public buildings to do things as minimal as send emails.
In fact, only about 50% of residents have reliable internet connections in the area. It became clear that if people were going to start and grow their businesses in Caswell, they needed to come up with a solution fast. That’s when CoSquare was born.
CoSquare is a 9000sqft collaborative workspace, located in a renovated drug store in the center of the town square in Yanceyville (hence the name CoSquare). The drugstore has been a staple of the Yanceyville community for years and will continue to serve the community in a new and powerful way. What the space really provides is an opportunity for small business owners to connect, collaborate and network across industries, especially a primary industry in Caswell: agriculture.
CoSquare’s goals are to advance the economic development efforts of Caswell County by supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses, helping companies get established and rooted in the Caswell community, increasing businesses’ access to high-speed internet, and fostering adaptation of new technologies and techniques within rural businesses. Raleigh Founded is proud to be partnered with CoSquare and is excited to see their development and growth in 2021 and beyond.