Located in downtown Las Vegas, Bloom is the first working space to be branded as women-only.
It began as an idea. Chelli Wolford, sister and chief strategist to Latin singer Pitbull, had just moved from San Francisco to Las Vegas and realized something was missing. Specifically, there wasn’t a space in Las Vegas for women to come together and get things done. “When you work from home, you miss community,” Wolford says. “I was pretty bummed that there wasn’t anything like [San Francisco’s] the Hivery, and then I thought, ‘Hey, maybe this is an opportunity.”
Wolford paired up with former Wall Street executive Ginger Melien to launch Bloom, a cozy, membership-based co-working space Downtown that encourages women to network and thrive alongside one another. Local designer Heather Soto created each room with Bloom’s core values in mind, and the space provides full access to office necessities, a podcast area and a maternity room.
According to a 2016 State of Women-Owned Businesses report, Las Vegas is home to 75,600 women-owned businesses.
“Women own 30 percent of small businesses and are starting new ventures at 1.5 times the rate of the general population,” said Leanna Jenkins, executive director or the Nevada Women’s Business Center, in an email.
According to data released earlier this month by the Kauffman Foundation, the Las Vegas area is ranked as one of America’s best markets for entrepreneurs.
The data found that 82 percent of people who started a new business in the area were already employed when they started their new venture, meaning that they started the business because they saw a viable opportunity in the market, not because they needed employment.
“So many women are sole-proprietors,” said Leanna Jenkins, executive director or the Nevada Women’s Business Center. “While this can be an exciting venture, it can also be very isolating. Having a coworking space that is women focused allows the woman entrepreneur to be more candid and open about the challenges that she is facing.”
Such as funding challenges.
Women receive only 4 percent of conventional small business loan dollars, Jenkins said. There are about 14,000 coworking spaces worldwide, according to Emergent Research.