**[AD] I was sponsored to attend this event, but got sooooo much out of it and genuinely can’t wait to bank with B Works, so I hope this post is helpful for you guys too**
I often get invited to events as a blogger and some are better than others and in honesty, I’m so busy with work and family life now, that I really only go to ones that genuinely intrigue me or for brands/businesses I love. So I didn’t quite know what to make of my recent invite to B Works, a bank for entrepreneurs in Manchester…
B Works, a bank for entrepreneurs
There was promise of drinks and canapés and live music from iconic 90s band, Sleeper…in a bank…yup, you heard right! I was offered a plus 1 and as I’d seen this “B Works” on instagram quite a bit over the last month, I took the opportunity for a date night and, grandparents roped into babysitting, dragged the hubby along for a midweek stopover in Manchester.
Located on Market Street, in central Manchester, B Works looks more like a high-street fashion store or boutique from outside (I later found out that they were inspired by neighbouring Urban Outfitters who have a beautiful store across the road), with a digital screen, open plan and vibrant lighting. You definitely wouldn’t think it was a bank at first glances.
Heading in, there was a coffee bar (serving artisan beers and Prosecco for the event), lots of comfy seating, hot-desking space, a pop-up clothes boutique from Boohoo and lots of people hanging-out chatting, laughing and having a great time. We quickly joined in.
So what exactly is B Works?
Learn. Work. Bank.
That’s their tag-line (not dissimilar from my own for WeBlogNorth – Community, Inspire, Collaborate) and you get the sense of the above as soon as you walk in. It’s a fantastic concept for modern banking. B Works offers space, workshops, printing, coffee, networking and then banking, all under one very cool roof. What’s more, they offer the former for free, encouraging young people, entrepreneurs and small-to-medium businesses particularly to come and use the space, enjoy it, benefit from it and then be keen on banking with them.
We were quickly whisked around on a tour with UK Marketing Manager, David Judic, who was buzzing about the launch and couldn’t wait to explain the concept. As a start-up myself, my interest was piqued immediately and I loved the space, which works across 3 levels. At the moment, they’re offering desk space, printing and even coffee for free. The value for B Works, David explained, is gaining trust and hopefully new customers in the people that would want to come and use the space. They run workshops and events from their cool open-plan event space, from board-rooms dotted about (all bookable) and they even have a social media room where bloggers and small businesses like me can record videos, take photos and even record podcasts. They seem to know their target audience very well.
David explained that everyone in the bank (the staff wear hoodies by the way) is trained in banking as you’d expect, but are far more approachable and ready to discuss your banking needs. For example, you can order a coffee from their coffee bar and have a chat with barista about your personal banking. I love that!
Is it worth checking out?
Hell yes! They seem to have an impressive line-up of free events, workshops and space! It might not remain free forever, so go and check it out and make the most of it! The place is welcoming, full of quirks and the fact that you get access to a series of banking and business experts, without having to book appointments with scary looking bank managers, and walk-up to intimidating looking doorways, is pretty damn awesome. What’s more, you don’t have to be a B Works customer to enjoy the space – they just hope that once you do, you’ll want to be!
What do you think? Is this the new way to bank?
FYI – B Works is open from 09:00-20:00 Monday to Friday, and 09:00-18:00 on Saturday on Market Street in Manchester. The space is a great place to learn, work and bank.