Space Rental

Space Rental


Renting out or subletting part of a larger unit to tenants, whether they are independent or part of your community 

Major variations

Offering seats in a communal space (co-working) versus renting out rooms/workshops for exclusive use. 

Potential impacts

  • Offering flexible terms to rent space can be a huge enabler for entrepreneurs and small businesses, who may not be able to pay large deposits or take on long term rentals but need somewhere to work
  • In many places it is particularly difficult to find small units for light industrial use, making it hard for manufacturing companies to start – this can help them to do that
  • Enabling small businesses to co-locate with an equipped makerspace can make it feasible for more experimentation without them having to invest in buying all the machines themselves


  • This can be an excellent way to offset part of the rent cost or to earn revenue. It can also be a way to build community or ensure you have access to certain skills, e.g. offering reduced rent to someone who can maintain machines in your makerspace or contribute to the community in other ways.


  • Assuming the whole unit is rented, the makerspace still has the liability for the full rent, so there are risks to relying on others to help pay it – if there is not enough demand for the sublets, or if tenants are short of cash (as startup companies often are)

Complementary models

Key partners

  • Organizations that want to target the kind of tenants you have
  • Tenants that provide a service to other tenants e.g. a café
  • Organizations willing to become long term “anchor” tenants

Key activities

  • Attracting tenants
  • Space maintenance
  • Managing tenancies & any additional services

Key resources

  • Space
  • Any furniture, fixtures or fittings provided

Value propositions

  • Flexible rental of small areas suitable for industrial/creative use
  • Being onsite with access to facilities e.g. makerspace machines or workshop space
  • Co-location with/ access to your makerspace community
  • Association with your brand – innovative & creative

Customer relationships

  • Long term relationships
  • Customers may graduate through different offerings e.g. co-working space to small unit to larger unit as they grow


  • Build startup pipeline through events and support packages
  • Advertising and open days can raise awareness of what space has to offer

Customer segments

  • Individuals and freelancers who want somewhere to work
  • Startup companies often particularly value flexibility to allow for growth uncertainty
  • Existing small orgs who want access to makerspace assets
  • Local branches of larger organizations (companies or NGOs)

Cost structure

  • Space
  • Maintenance & cleaning
  • Time to manage tenancies and provide any additional services

Revenue streams

  • Co-working space fees
  • Rental charge for exclusive units
  • Add on services e.g. receptionist, registered office address 
  • Access to workshops / makerspace / meeting rooms at additional cost
  • Revenue sharing arrangements with growing businesses

Business model canvas

Organising events and fun activities where the focus is on the experience, and learning happens along the way ​
Creating shared access to a community and/or other assets (space and equipment)​
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