Esbjerg’s new business house is a collaborative effort where female entrepreneurs can share their business dreams and realise their vision.
Text: Nikolaos Papadopoulos
Currently headed up by Charlotte Apel and Maria Anglada, Riggen was founded and supported by the Esbjerg Municipality, Business Esbjerg, and the Lauritzen Foundation. Riggen serves as a base of operations for new businesses in and around Esbjerg, in the sense that it provides newly founded businesses with crucial guidance and space to conduct their trade. In addition, it offers both a come and go option temporarily and permanent office space for Esbjerg’s full-time entrepreneurs, who will be there daily. The only obligations for a permanent space are contributing a modest fee for food from Riggen’s cultural sibling, Platformen, and participation in events organised by the house.
Most importantly, apart from physical space, Riggen is a place where entrepreneurs can brainstorm with each other and get technical help in establishing their businesses.
Most importantly, apart from physical space, Riggen is a place where entrepreneurs can brainstorm with each other and get technical help in establishing their businesses. “Before they can use the house, an entrepreneur’s application is carefully evaluated. The point is to get people with diverse skill sets to be in the house, so they can complement each other,” says Maria. That way, when a business lacks knowledge in a particular area, it can be supported by other house members.
The house is based on the principles of empowerment. They provide guidance so that businesses can become self-sufficient. Charlotte describes Riggen as “the nest where new businesses grow their wings, and then we teach them to fly”, and Liesbeth Staal’s business is just one example of many. Liesbeth is one of the many female entrepreneurs using Riggen and making children’s clothing as a hobby. She has explored the idea of turning it into a proper business. Although she found her idea too time-consuming to begin her business, she is grateful for Riggen’s help, as she now has a much clearer picture of her business plan and the obstacles she will need to overcome to begin it.
While the pandemic certainly took its toll on both Riggen and Liesbeth’s aspirations, the fact that the world seems to be going back to normal leaves a lot of space for optimism.
Liesbeth’s website: https://lijssie.dk/