“Penticton Top 40 under 40 is presented by Prospera Credit Union in partnership with the Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce and JCI Penticton, with support from the Canadian Youth Business Foundation”
As a global trend watcher Jennifer Vincent draws her inspiration from positive innovation happening in the areas of community-building in large urban centres around the world. Through her passion, energy and efforts she has managed to bring aspects of this to Penticton.
Seeing personal isolation as a sizable obstacle to community building, Jen’s goal for her business project Cowork Penticton, is to facilitate people working together. “There is a concept described in the coworking community as “accelerated serendipity” which is the idea that when you bring people who are working independently together in a positive work space, you create a catalyst for collaboration.”
Inspired by the idea of coworking, within three weeks, Jen and her husband Nick found a supportive landlord, secured a lease for a converted church located across from Pen High and they haven’t looked back since.
Cowork Penticton’s space boasts over 20 work stations, various meeting and board rooms and professional amenities. “A coworking space is all about increasing the wellbeing of its members through providing a vibrant collaborative space for freelancers, professionals, software developers, academics, project managers, etc. with flexible options to suit budgets and other needs.”
Jen’s proudest business achievements according to her are “the relationships built of which I’m not a part of but came about because of the space,” because despite all her hard work and efforts in bringing the novel concept to Penticton, Jen’s goals are to step back and “become more of a facilitator than a director” of the connections that Cowork Penticton is fostering. Ultimately, she wants “the community to own the space”.
That doesn’t mean that she’s resting on her laurels. Jen’s goals for expansion of Cowork Penticton in the next 5 years include incorporating professional development hubs to the coworking space, providing training on larger topics and partnering with educational institutions to offer accredited learning programs. Steps toward this are starting this November where Cowork will be offering a series of workshops and other events to promote entrepreneurial activity and connections. Planned are “bite-size” info sessions for the aspiring entrepreneurs and an exciting new project called “Start-Up Weekend”, where interested participants will practice pitching ideas, vote on them, then split up into working groups and take those ideas as far as they can along the business planning over the weekend and ultimately presenting them to a panel of advisors and mentors from the community.” Cowork will also be opening a second location Art House Penticton in November, geared toward providing collaborative work space to the niche artist market.
On top of all this Jen somehow manages to find time to run the popular Farm Bag Fundraiser program, which raises money for schools while helping to support local farmers and provide healthy and affordable food for local families.
For more information on the Penticton Top 40 Under 40, including how to nominate someone click here.