In metropolitan areas around the world, co-working spaces provide office solutions for tech startups trying to stay lean and nimble. Leslie Tita, a Cameroonian immigrant to the United States, co-founded I/O Spaces, a co-working space and incubator, which uses its links to Africa to generate business. From its inception, I/O Spaces had three goals: offer a cool workspace to ethnic minorities, support the African diaspora in America, and to do it cheaper than the competition. However, how can a co-working space celebrate African culture, support businesses based overseas, offer input to help produce output, and be financially successful—even amidst COVID-19? The case offers a window on the unique difficulties of U.S. immigrant entrepreneurship and highlights entrepreneurial strategies to create successful businesses.
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