#MakeYourTeam fully funded team development for employers

The #MakeYourTeam Employer’s Programme brings you fully-funded, bespoke business support to get the most from your team.

Are you a woman living or working in Wales? Do you want your business and staff to grow, succeed and prosper? You might just be eligible for Chwarae Teg’s Make Your Team Employer's Programme. Stephanie Griffiths came in to indycube to talk to us, and we thought we'd pass the opportunity on to our cohort, since many of you run small teams.

The Make Your Team Employer’s Programme involves:
  • 1:1 consultancy from expert Employer Partners

  • A comprehensive Business Culture Survey

  • Full results analysis with recommended actions and implementation support

  • An Equally and Diversity Strategy and action Plan tailored to your business

  • Eligibility to attain Chwarae Teg’s Exemplar Employer Award

  • Up to 35 hours fully funded support across 12 months

  • Tailored support for your business needs

The Employer's Programme is fully-funded providing you meet the criteria, which can be found on the MakeYourSelf website, where you can also get started with your application. Alternatively, you can contact Stephanie on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

In addition, Chwarae Teg will be hosting their annual Womenspire Awards on the 21st of June this year at the Wales Millennium Centre. Women can nominate themselves, friends, colleagues, family members or anyone they think is deserving of an award! There’s also an award for men. Nominations are now live - so get voting!

Finally, Chwarae Teg are also conducting a piece on Men’s Perceptions of Gender Equality in the Workplace. if you are a man or woman working in the ICT, costruction or energy and environment sectors, maybe you could give this survey a go.

        #MAKEYOURSELF



#MakeYourSelf fully funded career development for women

#MakeYourSelf's Women’s Programme will bring out the team leader in you. Benefit from this fully-funded Career Development Programme.

Are you a woman living or working in Wales? You might just be eligible for Chwarae Teg’s Make Your Self Women’s Programme. Stephanie Griffiths came in to indycube to talk to us, and we thought we'd pass the opportunity on to our awesome female cohort - (we love that about 50% of ic users are women!)

The Make Your Self Women’s Programme involves:
  • Getting to know your goals, barriers, skills and personal learning style to create an action plan for your development journey

  • Individual advice support and guidance

  • Achieving a qualification accredited by the world renowned Institute of Leadership and Management

  • Tailored bite-seized learning modules to gain further knowledge, experience and confidence to reach your potential

  • Opportunities to meet, share and learn from inspirational women in Wales

  • Opportunity to apply for a training allowance of £750 and a 1:1 mentoring scheme

The Women’s Programme is fully-funded providing you meet the criteria, which can be found on the MakeYourSelf website, where you can also get started with your application. Alternatively, you can contact Stephanie on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

In addition, Chwarae Teg will be hosting their annual Womenspire Awards on the 21st of June this year at the Wales Millennium Centre. Women can nominate themselves, friends, colleagues, family members or anyone they think is deserving of an award! There’s also an award for men. Nominations are now live - so get voting!

Finally, Chwarae Teg are also conducting a piece on Men’s Perceptions of Gender Equality in the Workplace. if you are a man or woman working in the ICT, costruction or energy and environment sectors, maybe you could give this survey a go.

        #MAKEYOURSELF

Become a legend, Newport-style


What and who are the legends of Newport? Are there mythological beasts that once roamed the shores of the Usk? Is there a Maindee community member who bravely saved someone’s life? What old stories do grandparents tell their grandchildren in Pillgwennlly? We love local folklore and the unique stories that come with every town and city across the country. Drama leader Rhian Hutchings works from ic Newport, developing Operasonic.

Over the next 12 months, they will be uncovering the legends of  Newport working with local young people. Each legend will be transformed into a performance that brings together music, storytelling, design and drama – all the ingredients of opera. Their young opera creators will work with composers, directors and opera singers to create their legends and share them with their communities, with a final performance from all four grous on Sunday July 2nd 2017.

All tickets for this final show are only £5. Book your tickets now!

Operasonic and Newport Legends have set up a fundraiser and are asking for your help to:
  • bring all the participants together to showcase and share their amazing work in a professional venue
  • give our young participants the memorable experience of performing on a big stage in front of a live audience
  • celebrate Newport and all the amazing stories, myths, legends and people who live there
  • give all participants their own Newport Legends T-shirt to take away and keep so they never forget what they have achieved
  • pay for an ensemble of 4 professional musicians to play for the performance - making it an extra-special experience!
Go on - be a legend.

Something smells fishy... coworking for the employee

because who doesn't need a home for their plastic marine life?

Unlike most of our users, who tend to fall in to the freelancer/gig economy/self-employed category, David Parker is 'traditionally' employed. He works for Youngs, whose HQ is based in Grimsby - (the town we all know from that Sacha Baron Cohen film - unfortunately, neither he nor Rebel Wilson actually live there.)

For some time, Youngs had a HQ in London, but when that shut and the company relocated to Grimsby, Dave chose to pursue a different job, wanting to remain central. Eventually deciding the new placement wasn't for him, and that his love of fish-fingers was too great to deny, Dave opted to go back to his job at Youngs, but was still reluctant to move to Grimsby, an English town where he had no friends, family or connections. Instead, he insisted on working from home and became field-based. Having studied in the seaside city, Swansea is one of Dave's favourite places and has everything that he needs to keep his job with Youngs - a train station, quick access to the motorway, and proximity to an airport. 

Initially, this may sound like a dream come true - a good job, all the fish-fingers you can eat, a flexible work pattern and the ability to never change out of your pjs. Like most freelancers though, Dave quickly learned that this lifestyle isn't all it's cracked up to be.

'Six months of working from home saw my productivity suffering, and my wellbeing affected. I had no separation between work and home, no work-life balance. It was harder to focus and I was often working late in to the night.'

At his own expense, Dave uses indycube Swansea as a half-time member. He's been with us for about two years now, and the rest, as they say, is history. 'It's worth the £100 a month for the piece of mind and the mental wellbeing.'

Using indycube means Dave can have his cake and eat it - all the benefits of working from home with the addition of his own desk-space, a separation between home and the workplace, and the company of others.

Whether you're employed or self-employed, you can easily book a desk at any indycube - go on, you know you want to.

We're 7 today and we've got a story to share

written by ic founder Mark Hooper

Here we are again, and a whole year older. Today, St David's Day 2017, marks indycube's seventh anniversary, and it's worth taking two minutes to ask 'so what?' and 'what next?' Like any seven year old, we're growing and developing - our aims are becoming more ambitious and we're taking a little more time to reflect.

Firstly, 'so what?'

At the beginning of 2016, I wrote about a bunch of changes we were planning for the year ahead. As with lots of things, we tried our very best to get things done in the time planned, but struggled somewhat with our limited resource base & (far more blameworthy) my own general antagonism towards bureaucracy & bureaucrats, so things have taken that little bit longer.

It's worth a quick update on that blog, and on two points in particular. A bit like a clarifications & corrections column in a daily newspaper, but in our case not squirrelled away in the bottom corner of page 47.

  1. We've actually become a Community Benefit Society. We'd planned this for March 1st 2016, but didn't get it 'over the line' until six months later. On the 1st of September, indycube CIC transferred all its assets to indycube Ltd. That means we're now cooperatively owned, and anyone can own a share in indycube (from today). And true to cooperative principles, every member will have an equal vote & voice in the future of the Society. So apologies it's taken longer than planned, but better late than never, eh?
  2.  I talked about our focus on & in Wales a lot during that blog. That was appropriate this time last year, but over the course of the year, my mind, in particular, has been changed. When we started indycube, we rightly put our focus on 'changing the way Wales does business' - we wanted more people to realise that working alongside people you wouldn't ordinarily work next to is a good thing, plus we wanted to prove that it was possible to start & operate a social enterprise in Wales without the need to use scarce public funds. We think we've gone a long way to achieving those ambitions, so needed to take some time to review what indycube needed to achieve in the next seven years, rather than what it had done in the past. One challenge I was constantly met with from others close to indycube, regarded the Wales-only nature of the business. I'd been pretty determined to keep indycube focused on Wales, but got my arm gently twisted to open a space in Wakefield, West Yorkshire during the spring of 2016. It completely changed my view as to indycube's relevance to places outside Wales, but it also created opportunities. 

What next? So where will the future take indycube? Crucially, it'll be wherever the members decide (remember that one member, one vote mantra?) My suggestions form the second part of this post. 

But before I get into that, I feel I owe indycubers an apology. The past few months have seen me having to put a lot of effort into our developing relationship with Community Union - I'm hoping you'll agree it will have been worth it, but it has meant that I've not been as present in indycubes as I've previously been. I've missed being so involved, but fortunately Dai, Mike & Mari have held the fort valiantly, and I'm grateful to them for that.

For £1 a month, indycube is yours

Back to things - first bit of news to tell you is that our society membership is officially open. You don't have to be an indycube user to join, just someone who wants to see the Society succeed in its aims. We've set the membership rate at £1 per month, ensuring there's no financial bar to membership, and you can join today, here.

Membership gives you one vote on society business - you, along with anyone else who joins will be in charge. You'll have a vote to select our Board (or even stand for election for it, if you fancy), choose our CEO and decide on the key issues affecting the organisation. We'll be talking about our recent investment in a bit, but it's worth noting here that even large investors get the self same one vote, as you do, and as I do. Control has well and truly been ceded.

A £1 a month, and indycube is yours (and theirs, and his and hers etc).

The best £10 you'll ever spend

The second bit of news is quite exciting (we've trailed this quite extensively over the past couple of months, but now it's got real). In November, Mike Scott, David Hulston and I met with the senior team at Community Union (community-tu.org); they've been in the news recently as many of their members are steel workers. We've been in conversation with them for a while in relation to the increasing precariousness of self-employment and freelancing - the sort of people who use our spaces, and we'd developed a proposal to address many of the issues. Community liked our proposal. They liked it a lot.

To cut a likely very boring story short, we agreed a plan to expand the indycube network across the entirety of the U.K., utilising the learnings we've made with our experiences in Wales, with a support network of connectors keeping differing communities, um, connected. It's still far from rocket science, but it is a big leap in what we do - it's a tough ask. Essentially, within five years you will be able to walk into any decent sized town in the U.K. and ask (and expect a positive answer) "where's the indycube?"

Alongside this, we've co-created with Community a suite of benefits that will 'level the playing field' for any small business owner. No gimmicks, no PRollocks, just plain and simple things that will make working as a single person or small business, significantly less precarious. We'll be looking for beta-testers quite soon, with a full launch at the end of the summer. This union membership will cost just £10 per month, and will include the cost of normal indycube society membership. As with the Society membership it will be open to those within and outside our network. Safe to say, this is likely to be the best value £10 a freelancer, a homeworker, a gigger is ever likely to pay.

We're also going to be the organisation that fights for the rights of its members in influencing government policy. Using Community's existing networks, we'll be taking the issues that matter to the people who make the decisions. We're concerned about how precarious work is becoming, and we're not going to sit around and wait for it to get even worse.

There's no getting away from it, this plan is ambitious - we're determined to make a genuine and lasting difference. This is our 'change the world' opportunity, and we're going to take it. Community Union have backed us with investment over the next five years, and the first tranche of funding 'landed' yesterday. We'll be announcing other partners/investors over the coming year.

Unsurprisingly, we'll need more people. We've already begun recruiting for a number of the first positions we need filling. Please just keep yourself attuned to this blog/twitter/facebook as we set each job live, if you fancy joining our very unconventional journey. You can also subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates.

We'll be putting on a few events over the coming weeks in Porthmadog, Cardiff, Swansea, Wakefield, Newport, Newtown & Pembroke Dock to give you an opportunity to find out more. We'll announce the dates a week today (8/3) via this blog - keep your eyes peeled as there will be beer & pizza).

Thanks for reading. Ymlaen! 

Original, quirky and daring? It sounds right up our street....

RawFfest|GŵylGrai youth arts festival will run for a second year in August 2017. The festival's administrator Kate Owen works alongside director Ruth Garnault from indycube St Mary Street, our space in the very centre of Cardiff City, which affords the pair the space they need to bring their project to life.

"Ruth and I work from indycube St Mary Street a couple of days a week. We chose it because of the flexibility it offers, and the central location, which makes it easy to get to, and for our partner organisations to find us for informal catch ups. It's a comfortable workspace with good wifi, and for me, the fact that it's a community-owned not for profit organisation is also part of its appeal," - Kate Owen

If you've not heard of RawFfest|GŵylGrai, you can learn all about it through the video below, or by checking out their website, which includes snaps from last year's festival as well as information about the 2016 programme. Kate plans to update this in the Spring, when a new line up will be announced and tickets will go on sale.

In short, Rawffest|GŵylGrai is a fun and innovative festival for creative young people to come together and showcase their work. The project has been pioneered by 14-25 year olds who want a platform to perform. This includes drama groups, bands, dance troupes, photographers, artists, fashion designers, writers, poets and bloggers.

We love that Kate and her coworkers are determined to anchor the festival in urban environments and rural areas, that they're concerned with sustainability and cost, and that the whole thing is bilingual. The team is committed to making the festival as inclusive as possible and actively seek diversity.

Venue Cymru in Llandudno will host RawFfest|GŵylGrai in August 2017 and WMC in 2018. Tickets will go on sale soon.

Chat to us! Get in touch with me via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you'd like us to share your story here. We also love hearing from you on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Commuting done right

Commuting to work has never been so easy. With 30 indycube spaces and counting, our aim is to get a coworking space wherever it's needed, be it a central city or a rural nook in the countryside. 

The image on the right was taken by Eifion Jones who works out of ic Swansea. Like many of our users, he cycles to work, saving precious time, petrol money and reducing effects on the environment.

There's a sharp contrast between this coastal commute and Eifion's old motorway trek, which could take up to an hour and a half in bad traffic. A shorter journey to work means Eifion can spend more time with his family in the mornings - a bonus money can't buy.

Want to see an indycube closer to you? Drop Dai a line on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and let us know.

It's in The Big Issue, now it's time to make it happen

This week, we were featured in The Big Issue Cymru. In case you missed it elsewhere, we made some exciting announcements about our new partnership with Community Union. Pick up a copy from your local vedor to see the article in print - there's some great content between those pages.

indycube is an independent organisation which provides coworking spaces across Wales. They aim to supply a comfortable and productive working environment for freelancers and independent workers. indycube’s writer in residence, Mari Ellis, explains why they support The Big Issue and gives us an exclusive insight into indycube’s exciting news.

Q. Can you explain more about what indycube does?

A. indycube provides coworking spaces where people can come together to work alongside one another. We strive to facilitate everyone, from artists to designers and those in tech. We currently have 27 spaces, including make-a-space studios where people can build and create.

Q. What are indycube’s goals?

A. We’re focused on bringing coworking spaces as close to your home as possible. We believe everyone should be able to work in close proximity to their homes, families and children, and want to help freelancers and contractors say goodbye to long commutes. We want to put businesses back in the heart of their communities.

Q. Why is indycube a part of The Big Issue Big List?

A. We support the mission of The Big Issue, helping others to help themselves. Like The Big Issue, and its independent charity, The Big Issue Foundation, we believe in connectivity and independence. Since subscribing last year, we’ve had plenty of reading material in our offices!

Q. How does the ethos of indcyube fit in with that of The Big Issue?

A. At indycube, we’re all about people and independence. We supply the desks and the wifi, but encourage our members to make the space their own, in whichever way they choose. We’re always on the look out for new spaces, especially in rural areas, so don’t be afraid to get in touch if you have somewhere in mind.

Q. What are indycube’s plans for the future?

A. We’ve recently received some very exciting news. After nearly seven years in the game, we’ve partnered with Community Union in order to expand and mobilise independent workers across the UK. We’ll be crossing the border and opening spaces in England, Scotland and Ireland, as well as launching the first Freelancer’s Union.

Q. What does that mean for the world of independent workers?

A. We're pleased to announce that indycube is going to be doing even more for our members. We've teamed up with Community Union to develop the UK's first union for independent workers. It's main aim will be to level the playing field between the small operators that we support and their often bigger customers. Watch this space - we promise to tell you more when it launches officially in the summer.

Keep up to date with the development of these plans by following us on
Twitter, Facebook and  Instagram. You can also subscribe to our newsletter for regular monthly updates.

Grow your business with Business Wales Growth Week

Business Wales Growth Week
27th February - 2nd March

Across Wales

Business Wales Growth Week is all about helping businesses in Wales find ways to achieve that next level of growth. Four exclusive events hosted by flagship companies in Wales have been arranged for the benefit of business owners like you. The events will include an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the host company, a talk from a member of the senior management and a Q&A session where guests will be able to find out more about how these leading Welsh companies achieved their growth.  

Each location has space for 20 attendees to hear from some of Wales’ most successful businesses and network with like-minded businesses aiming for growth.

  • Bluestone, Monday 27th February, 11:45am
  • AerFin, Tuesday 28th February, 12pm
  • Toyota, Wednesday 1st March, 11:45am
  • Tinopolis, Thursday 2nd March, 14:45pm

For more info, see Business News Wales. To reserve your place, please RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ASAP.

For other networking opportunities, or to learn more about the independent Welsh businesses operating nearby, follow indycube on Facebook and Twitter, or sign up to our monthly newsletter.

Startup Socks Lottery

A lovely pair of socks and a chance to win £10,000


Startup Socks Lottery is a new competition for startups based in the UK. 

​One startup will win £10,000. Every other entry will be sent a custom created pair of socks curtesy of their sponsor Socks From Denmark. It's a win win. 

​Draw day is Friday 17th February 2017.

Here's how it works:

1. Choose the pair of socks you want and enter into the competition. 

2. A winner will be selected at random on the draw day.

3. Everyone who entered will get their selected pair of socks.

You can enter the competition here.

Groundbreaking new design from Powerfab Innovations has local man charged up

Run by Nathan John, Powerfab ® offers customers a range of plans and products as well as the opportunity to built their own excavators. After 30 years of experience, Nathan is making groundbreaking moves to improve the environment and cut cost for his customers.

Nathan’s father dreamed up the mini digger back in the 80s, and championed the self-trailering wheeled digger, before the better-known track digger overtook the market. Unfortunately, Powerfab ran into some difficulties during the 90s recession and was consequently sold, but not before providing customers across the world with the ability to tow their own mini-diggers to excavations sites at considerable speed. Nathan has recently made the decision to restart the business, and has even made the bold move of reverting to the classic wheeled digger, which he believes has a big future ahead.

Unlike the track digger, which ploughs the ground around it and causes disruption at sites such as cemeteries, the wheeled digger is a much more efficient piece of machinery. There are, however, improvements to be made.

Hy-Hoe, Hy-Hoe, it’s off to dig we go

Despite their small size, energy is expended while towing heavy diggers to their destination, while masses of fuel is guzzled in their operation. Nathan’s new concept, which he plans to name the Hy-Hoe, (Hybrid-Hoe), strips away cumbersome elements of the machinery, and even the need for fuel.

The new wheeled digger, which looks somewhat like the classic Spider Excavator, will have chargeable wheels, allowing the machine to generate energy as it is towed to the excavation site. This will lessen both operational costs and CO2 emissions, making it the most environmentally friendly digger on the market.

Approximately 10,000 mini diggers are sold in the UK every year, filling the environment with toxic carbon emissions and guzzling huge amounts of fuel. Nathan’s design, which includes a dynamo for each wheel that will convert energy to electricity and charge the lithium ion batteries, could have a huge positive impact on the environment, reduce the need for fossil fuels and even mean less smog in cities like London.

Tackling air pollution in major cities across the world is headline news - construction and demolition activity currently accounts for up to 15% of London’s air pollutants. Cutting emissions from building sites is essential if central cities are to comply with nitrogen dioxide (NO2) legal limits.

While the patent is pending, the search is now on to find companies who might possess the information that Nathan, and Powerfab Innovation, does not - knowledge of hybrid machinery.  

If you think you could help Nathan with his nifty towable design, get in touch with him on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


About Powerfab:

Nathan John has been involved in the production of mini-excavators for over 30 years and has gone on to be involved in the commercialisation of mini excavators throughout the world selling thousands of wheeled and tracked mini excavators, loaders and dumpers. He is based in indycube Swansea.

Venture Cafe for small business support

Got an idea for a new venture? Looking for start-up support and funding?         

Date: Tuesday 14th February 2017
Time: 9.15pm – 12.45 pm
Place: The OpTIC Centre, Ffordd William Morgan, St Asaph Business Park, St Asaph, LL17 0JD     

UnLtd is hosting a Venture Café in Denbighshire, North Wales in partnership with Social Firms Wales and Purple Shoots.
 
Are you looking to start-up a new venture, do you have an idea for a business? 

Are you looking for support to start or develop a Social Firm (enterprise), to create employment for disabled people or those considered furthest from the job market?
Are you looking for seed funding or a small loan to try your idea or to grow it more?

If so join us at our Venture Café session. Come along to discuss your ideas and find out how UnLtd, Social Firms Wales and Purple Shoots can help you.

Hear from funders & inspiring case studies | Attend 1-2-1 surgeries to discuss your ideas in detail | There is no cost attached for the session, but places are limited so please book early.

For more information please telephone: 07900 991 077 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Is it okay to sleep on the job?

Research suggests that a quick nap can boost alertness and stamina, consequently improving your performance at work. Is it better to take 20 minutes out for a bit of shut-eye than to struggle through the sleepy afternoon lull?

More and more American companies are allowing work-space napping, with most incorporating nap-rooms into their work-spaces. NASA was among one of the first larger companies to recognise the benefits of napping, introducing naps to their work days back in the 90s. Although we’re all different, the science pits the optimum naptime at anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes – any more than 30 and sleep will be too deep, resulting in sluggishness and lethargy.

Should we all try napping at work?

As well as waking us up, napping could have increased benefits on anxiety levels. Slow breathing actively reduces heart rate, which lessens the physical symptoms of anxiety, much like meditation or yoga. However, unlike meditation or yoga, full sleep is the only process which can actually de-clutter our minds. (Check out the video below for more on this.)

Famous nappers include David Lynch and the Coen Brothers, who would nap in their writing spaces in order to work out problems and rifts in their scriptwriting. Creative work can be boosted massively by just ‘sleeping on it,’ so if you find yourself in a rut, try incorporating a short nap into your creative process.

If you find that a daily nap works for you, there are ways to train your body into falling asleep quickly, such as napping at the same time and in the same place every day, and incorporating a signal like a particular type of music or pillow. 

Of course, it’s not for everyone. Without a dedicated ‘nap-space,’ you might be embarrassed to snooze in front of others. Here’s what happened when Mark Malloy at the Telegraph gave office-based napping a go. Have you napped at work? Where did you go to do it? Let us know!

Christmas Opening Hours

ic Christmas Opening Hours

All indycube locations will be closed to the public from December 23rd to January 3rd as we celebrate the festive season. As always, full time members with their own fobs are welcome to use the spaces at their own discretion.