It was a chilly Wednesday morning, and no-one was venturing outside after the meeting had closed. Two ladies stood chatting; their hands clasped around steaming cups of coffee. Today’s meeting had been well supported and the room was buzzing with last minute follow-ups and goodbyes before we each started heading back to work. The ice breaker had really made us think. The members had been heart-wrenchingly honest in sharing their often-embarrassing experiences for the benefit of the rest of us. We sipped on our coffee, watching the groups interacting, our thoughts on the “mistakes I wouldn’t make again now” topic that had started the day.
I’ll never forget the look on Crystal’s face when she unexpectedly commented that it would be really awesome if we could have this exact event up in Howick…. My mind started racing, questions popping up like those silly voice bubbles in comic strips. Why hadn’t we thought of this before? Why did we just automatically drive down to Pietermaritzburg? Surely there would be other female business owners who would be keen to attend a meeting if it were in Howick? Do you think Ali would support it? Could we? Should we? ….. only one way to find out! Within 20 minutes of Crystal’s first statement – we had our answer and the rest, as they say, is history!
A temporary committee of four was formed and a date was set. A venue for 30-40 guests booked, an invite created, and the event was put out on social media. Like the flames of a firebreak burn, the news of the event spread at an alarming speed. Business owners were clambering to book tickets and ensure their spot in this not-to-be-missed event. It is a known fact that things like this just don’t happen in Howick! Within 3 days the event was over-subscribed – an indication of the hunger and need for such a network group as well as the outstanding reputation of the WIB Brand. Everyone knows that it is something you WANT to be part of and associated with.
On the morning of the launch event, 63 ladies bundled up in scarves and jackets, arrived at the local restaurant bright and early, to secure the best seats and to ensure they didn’t miss a thing (or the delicious breakfast!) Lucky draw prizes by the dozen were being spread out across the table – yet another silent scream of excitement from these women who were eager to show their support and gratitude for the opportunity of such a Brand coming to their town. As registration closed and the main event started, the anticipation was like air being forced into an already large balloon about to explode! The laughter, friendly banter and excited squeals from prize winners was enough to let us know that the event was a success. But it was the unanimous vote of support from our community, to start our own Howick and KZN Midlands WIB Group, that really warmed our hearts and forged the path forward for growth and development of businesses in our town.
If friendship, mentorship, support, networking and growing your business within our community are top of your list of goals in 2019, then this is definitely the group you want to join.
Women In Business is a member of Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business, represented by Ali Engelbrecht.
Ali serves as the Treasurer and Board Member of the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business.
Ali Engelbrecht is a mentor of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women.
Women In Business are members of the Business Womens' Association (BWA) and we interact with SAWID (South African Women In Dialogue)
These associations allow Women In Business to extend networking opportunities and linkages to entrepreneurial women. This strengthens the ability of entrepreneurial women to form alliances which will lead to enabling environments.
Women In Business offers social networking platforms for members to use to pursue entrepreneurial excellence.
The good news is that if you are a member of PCB there is NO CHARGE to be part of WIB.
If you are not a member of PCB we do encourage you to become a member.
Howick and KZN Midlands entrepreneurial ladies can now join the Midlands Women In Business Forum.
For those members who live outside of the geographical area of the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business online services are offered to entrepreneurial women on a one on one basis according to requirements and needs.
Contact us for further details.
News supplied by Women In Business.