Oct 11, 2021 - Business
New co-working space IF Lab coming to Kensington
Sneak Peek of the IF Lab in Kensington
IF Lab will offer co-working spaces for businesses owned by people of color. Photo: Taylor Allen/Axios

Cofounders Tayyib Smith and Meegan Denenberg gave the public a first look Saturday at their Kensington co-working space, the IF Lab, which is designed to provide resources for people of color pursuing entrepreneurship.

Why it matters: Black Philadelphians make up 43.6% of the city’s population but only represent a little over a quarter of business owners.

  • When looking only at businesses that have employees, that figure plummets to about 6.3%.

Smith and Denenberg plan to open the co-working space in early 2022 and work with 10-20 businesses at any given time.

  • The space, which has a library and small tech center, is the first of its kind, but there are plans for another in West Philadelphia.
  • Co-working will be offered on a membership basis. Facilitators will share grant opportunities and provide technical assistance.
IF lab will offer resources for businesses owned by people of color. It will include a small library, a tech center, and co-working spaces. Photo: Taylor Allen/Axios
IF Lab in Kensington. Photo: Taylor Allen/Axios

What they're saying: Smith told Taylor the project is about providing resources and information for people at any level, including "some people who are ready to start a small business and some people who need to go on a path to discover how to hone in on an idea."

  • Denenberg told Taylor the space is intentionally designed to feel relaxed.
  • She said they wanted to make a "mental jungle-gym" but also "a space for people to breathe." The purpose is for it to feel like it's for the community.

avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Philadelphia.

More Philadelphia stories

No stories could be found

Philadelphiapostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Philadelphia.