All-female co-working space HelloHERA opens in KL

Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh poses for photos during the launch of HelloHERA at Q Sentral in Kuala Lumpur January 17, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh poses for photos during the launch of HelloHERA at Q Sentral in Kuala Lumpur January 17, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 17 — An all-women co-working space has opened in the city centre, priding itself on its ability to provide a safe working environment for women.

Launched on January 3 at Q Sentral, the small and simple-looking boutique set-up exudes an aura similar to one’s own home, and clients who are working mothers are also allowed to bring their children.

Owner Angeline Chin said they do not require clients to sign a contract.

“When they come here, it’s pay per use. The reason why we do that is because we know that a lot of women, even myself included, have experienced difficulties in certain co-working set-ups.

“When you’re a mother and a woman, and you want to start up a business and all that, you have limited means. Basically, you’re bootstrapping, and when you bootstrap, every single ringgit is valuable,” she said.

Chin also offers several space rental packages to enable those on a tight budget to be able to use HelloHERA, network and grow their business.

General view at HelloHERA during its launch at Q Sentral in Kuala Lumpur January 17, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
General view at HelloHERA during its launch at Q Sentral in Kuala Lumpur January 17, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

The idea for HelloHERA came about after Chin, who had a career in the corporate sector, faced a difficult time working in several co-working spaces, which she lamented were not children-friendly.

“I had to leave my then 10-year-old daughter in the lobby of a co-working space all by herself, after I was barred from bringing her inside for a meeting.

“I was not able to focus at all, and I told myself, I had enough,” Chin said.

After her experiences, she was determined to open her own co-working space to cater to women from all walks of life, especially working mothers who have a hard time finding childminders.

Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh and HelloHERA co-founder Angie Chin-Tan cut a cake during the launch of HelloHERA at Q Sentral in Kuala Lumpur January 17, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh and HelloHERA co-founder Angie Chin-Tan cut a cake during the launch of HelloHERA at Q Sentral in Kuala Lumpur January 17, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

Although HelloHERA is dedicated to women, Chin also allows men to work in the space.

“The reason why we allow men to come in, and also non-binary people, is because we don’t want to discriminate, and secondly, it’s because sometimes, some projects require men’s involvement.

“So if they come here as part of the project, they are welcome, but we give exclusivity to women.

“Of course, this place is not huge now in the beginning, but we have to start somewhere and do something to address the needs of working mothers especially,” Chin added.

As for security, Chin, who started the space on a shoestring budget of RM1,500, doubles as the manager and security officer.

She also rents her space for events for a comparatively low price than that imposed by hotels.

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