FORT WORTH, Texas. - Ensemble Coworking's goal is simple; to provide a comfortable yet productive workplace for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small businesses. The owners of the two-year-old collaborative business community and shared office space are now winners of Fort Worth Inc.'s 2018 Supporter of Entrepreneurship Award.
Tamara Payne and Dawn Shannon accepted the honor Thursday, January 11 at an awards banquet in Fort Worth. The recognition is part of the FW Inc. Entrepreneur of Excellence Awards program honoring entrepreneurial owners of private companies in the Greater Fort Worth area.
Thirty-three finalists in eleven categories were chosen from a pool of nearly 300 nominees by an independent panel of judges. The winners are leaders that set the standard for entrepreneurial excellence in their respective industry categories, distinguishing themselves with exceptional sales and profit growth, ethical business practices, innovation, perseverance and community involvement.
"Our mission is growing businesses and investing in people through collaboration, connections and community," Payne said after receiving the award. "This award recognizes our hard work to make that mission a reality for our members and all the businesses that Ensemble touches. It's quite simply that our business is supporting entrepreneurship."
Payne and Shannon have made a mark in Fort Worth by being involved in a variety of organizations, staying connected in the community and sharing input with city leaders, including Fort Worth's Economic Development director Rob Sturns.
"The work that Tamara Payne and Dawn Shannon have done in creating Ensemble Coworking has been vital to the enhancement of our entrepreneurial ecosystem," Sturns said. "From continuing the growth of 1 Million Cups Fort Worth to creating an inclusive, welcoming environment, they have been a great addition to our community."
"This is a tremendous honor," Shannon said. "We are smashing stereotypes, for women business owners and for leaders with a heart to serve their community. We are leading by example, showing our members that we are serious business owners with a desire to make a difference and experience growth ourselves. We've enjoyed watching several of our members, who we call Groupies, grow their businesses from the ground up simply by being in a space where more work gets done in one day than an entire week working from home."
Ensemble offers private offices, dedicated desks, open coworking spaces, meeting rooms and a training room at its facility located at 1617 Park Place Avenue, Suite 110, off 8th Ave in the medical district.
"We are more than a space to work. We provide classes and programming to assist businesses in becoming profitable and scalable. We are launching our first signature growth event for entrepreneurs in April of 2018," Payne said.
The businesses calling Ensemble Coworking home include a 10-year old internationally-known data storage analyses company, two public relations operations, an urban planner with corporate offices in Houston, an 8-year old CPA firm whose focus is on small business tax accounting and non-profit audits, an agriculture investing firm, and more than 50 others in a variety of industries.
"One of the greatest things about being a member of Ensemble is working with so many different people and their diverse businesses," CPA Raymond Best said. The chairman of the board for Mental Health America Tarrant County not only has a thriving business based within Ensemble, he also represents many of his fellow members at the coworking facility.