What a great first experience with the online WBII networking event in October! The women in attendance were very welcoming and it was quite nice to meet fellow entrepreneurs. This month’s theme was on ‘The importance of communities’ and Dymphna Elsink did an incredible job of moderating the meeting and keeping everyone engaged. I especially loved the clip Dymphna played during the coffee break from the series Anne with an E about women coming together and creating sacred spaces, it fit perfectly. Throughout the event, Dymphna offered information about upcoming events and also some of the benefits of membership in the WBII such as participating in a Q&A interview for the newsletter which I was not previously aware of.
The first presentation was a brief introduction by a new member, Vjerana Stipetic, in which she highlighted her business of VENA candy bags. She showed samples of the beautiful and colourful designer handbags that she creates. Having recently arrived in the Netherlands, she also discussed the challenges that come with launching a business and how she was managing through the move. It is always helpful to know that we are not alone in our entrepreneurial endeavours.
- Define a purpose and goal for your community
- Do some market research, seek competitors and compare what they do well and also where they lack
- Identify ideal members of your community
- Fuel participation by bringing them together
- Create an online platform & space
- Establish guidelines and rules
- Incentivise those who contribute to your space
- Lead by example and nurture your community
- Have realistic expectations
- Ask for and listen to feedback from the community
- Acknowledge that success doesn’t come overnight
- Be generous, give more than you get
- If you haven’t found a community that you like, create your own!
- If you are new to building a community, think of it like hosting a party
Lara emphasised the importance of keeping things simple in your community and ensuring that you are providing value to the members. Lastly, she underscored the fact that building a community takes time but that your efforts will be worth it in the end. The entire presentation was filled with little nuggets of information for entrepreneurs, so I found it extremely relevant for the group. It helped me personally to take inventory of my own communities and redefine some of the goals for my own practice.
Towards the end of the networking event, Dymphna facilitated some break-out sessions where people had more one-on-one time getting to know each other and offering advice when someone mentioned a challenge.
WBII is the first network I have joined in the Netherlands in order to grow my practice and meet other entrepreneurs. Thus far I have found it to be a really nice community in which to learn and grow. Thank you for the warm welcome.
Sandra Delgado Quist