To Have a Nice Place to Work In
Pauliina Manso ja Outi Hannuksela, both living on Costa Del Sol, have known each other for more than 20 years. Six months ago, the two women combined their know-how and experience, and now a joint Co-Working business is creating opportunities and new innovations for an international working community.
SMARTWORKPLAZA is a natural mile stone on a long trip: two determined and hardworking ladies Pauliina Manso ja Outi Hannuksela had both worked for a long time gathering much expertise and experience.
Last Autumn they decided that it was absolutely time to start doing something completely new – something that would allow them to use all they know and what they could learn. This idea needed almost a quarter century of maturation to get ready to blossom.
Outi and Pauliina met – of course – at Costa del Sol.
– I think it was year 1999, when I moved from Northern Spain to Costa, says Pauliina.
– Outi was then working for Ole Newspaper and I went in to their office for some stuff and that’s when it began.
– By that time, we only had a small community of Finns working here on the Costa and we, naturally, met often and shared the same networks, continues Outi, who had come to Fuengirola earlier on the very same year 1999.
Both continued working hard, making solid careers.
Pauliina worked for a while in the banking sector and then ended up establishing new businesses and boosting them bloom. She has always been very business driven.
– I have worked in every company as if it was my own, she says.
– Thus, founding a business of my own was not such a big leap.
Besides, Pauliina was familiar with entrepreneuring as she had owned restaurants in Helsinki before leaving to Spain.
Outi, for her part, has the background in social sciences. The desire to understand, develop and support has always been a part of her world. In addition, she has always felt that writing and content baking are her things.
– I started writing here on the Costa, because there simply was a need for that, Outi tells.
In 2010 Outi established her own business and has since been first of all a journalist
THE IDEA about a completely new type of business on Costa del Sol was born in Pauliina’s head because she wanted to spend more time with her family and work in a post, in which she would not bear such a huge responsibility over others’ jobs and careers. In her earlier work she had taken care for both the production and the personnel, as well as for marketing and sales.
– I had visited Co-Working spaces in Finland and in Madrid and I started thinking if similar business would be needed here, Pauliina tells.
She studied the issue and noticed that there was not anything quite like that on the Costa. Co-Working and Landing services are offered in the region but it was obvious they could be done in more organized and efficient – let’s say smarter – way. The idea grew and developed. Pauliina realized, that she wanted a job like that: to work with people in a place to which it is always nice to go in the morning.
– I can be there for people, support and boost them, but I am not their boss, Pauliina says.
– I get inspired by people, big events and marketing. That is exactly what I am doing now and, on the top of this, I can watch and enjoy how Plaza and its entrepreneurs and businesses grow.
Outi, who has worked alone most of her life was fascinated by the working community and the possibility to train and develop herself and others – the basic desire of a sociologist.
– In the beginning, I sparred and supported Pauliina, Outi tells.
– We discussed the idea of modifying the co-working concept to include the best parts of different European cultures.
– Quite soon I realized that I am in this, she laughs.
From Scandinavia the women took the learning-by-doing attitude and the appreciation of well-being. From Southern European culture they wanted to use the collectivism and networks – which naturally are essential to entrepreneurs all over the world.
THE FUTURE does not frighten the women – the other way round – the expectations are high. Pauliina and Outi are delighted that SmartWorkPlaza has been taken in so well on the Costa. The concept is ready and – why not – can be duplicated elsewhere.
– You should never get too comfortable with the situation, laughs Pauliina.
– Continuous development and new products, that is what we are going to do next.
Outi reminds that it is essential to listen to the customers and, if necessary, have courage to change the plans.
– We are not going to go forward alone as this is all about working community in which the members spar each other. It feels, that these people here form our new family, she says.
Outi is concretely worried about the resources. Life does not always go as planned and thus some buffer would be good, you cannot work 24/7 all the time.
– When we are in a hurry – or should I say in a panic – we have to sit down, take a deep breath and just adjust to the situation, she says.
– Every organization should every now then think, what is its mission and go back to basics.
Pauliina sees that the head ache and responsibility are the same as before but the success stories warm the heart more as now, we work for our own “baby”, to ourselves.
– The best thing is to be able to work with people and live their succeedings with the, Pauliina says.
The beginning of SmartWorkPlaza has been eventful – like a roller coaster say Pauliina. The dream has not faded, not at all.
Pauliina and Outi want SmartWorkPlaza to be a brand new Co-Working model in which the well-being of the entrepreneurs plays an important role – also the Spanish companies.