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WESST opens co-working space for veterans


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A concept that has gained traction in Albuquerque’s business community is about to become a possibility for military veterans thanks to WESST, the nonprofit small business development and training organization.

WESST is holding an official opening today at its headquarters near Broadway and Lomas for its Veterans Suite, a co-working space designed to help those who want to start and grow their own businesses.

Co-working is the idea of creating a space where independent individuals can share an environment that gives them a professionally equipped place to work and interact with other potential entrepreneurs.

“So you don’t have to meet clients at Starbucks,” said WESST regional manager Julianna Silva.

She said there are already several co-working spaces in Albuquerque, such as Fat Pipe ABQ, that aim to help fledgling businesses grow.

The WESST space is the first in the metro area primarily for veterans and active military individuals who want to start businesses, Silva said.

The suite has 15 “briefcase-ready” cubicle work stations equipped with desktop computers, high speed Internet access and printing capability. Participants pay $30 for a two-hour time slot or $200 for up to 36 hours a month.

Co-working participants can also use meeting and break rooms in the WESST building, as well as the non-profit’s address. They also have access to the non-profit’s business consultants and advisers, who provide expertise on management, sales and marketing, Silva said.

Staffers have been working with military organizations that project more than 14,000 veterans will be returning to New Mexico from deployments and other military service over the next few years.

WESST has been providing training and consulting services and low-cost loans to start-up businesses in New Mexico for 25 years. The 37,000-square-foot business incubator building on Broadway opened in 2009.Veterans Suite at WESST

What: co-working space with 15 cubicle workstations equipped with desktop computers, high speed Internet access and printing capability.

Where: WESST Enterprise Center, 609 Broadway, Albuquerque

Amenities and services available:  access to meeting rooms, mailing address, business training and consulting services

How to apply: contact Michele Smith at 505-246-6900 or email: