There is a new way for women who own a business in the Elk Valley to connect.
Fernie Women in Business group had its first networking lunch in January at Loaf, attended by eight women from a wide variety of small businesses.
The second meeting will be Friday, February 17 at 12 at the Lunch Box in Fernie.
The group was started by freelance journalist Rebecca Edwards.
“Fernie has a very strong entrepreneurial spirit, and a lot of our small businesses are founded by women as a way to earn a solid living and to be able to stay here permanently,” she said.
“I took part in a three-month mentoring program with the Women’s Enterprise Centre last year. A group of local women business owners met regularly and had discussions and guidance from our mentor, Fernie Cardlock owner Lila Tomlinson.
“It was really helpful and I realized it was something that could work long-term.”
Edwards said business owners benefit from being able to ask advice of their peers.
“When you work in a large team it is easy to pick a colleague’s brain on how to solve out a work problem, or to find a sounding board when things aren’t going well. But when you work on your own or are the owner of the business, it can be hard to find relevant, objective advice.
“We keep it informal and fun, so that nobody feels intimidated about asking the group’s opinion.”
In January each person was asked to bring a business New Year’s resolution to the meeting, outlining something about their business that they want to improve or reduce in 2012.
“It led to some great discussions on all aspects of running a business – from the logistics of marketing and keeping accurate records, to keeping separation between work and personal life and managing staff for the first time,” said Edwards.
“This month I am asking everyone to bring a recommendation of a service, product, or a piece of good practice that has benefited their business and that they would like to pass on to everyone else.”
Visit the Fernie Women in Business Facebook page to keep updated.
• Fernie Women in Business will meet Friday, February 17 at 12 p.m. at the Lunch Box on Second Avenue, Fernie. If you would like to attend, call Rebecca Edwards at 778-519-0017 or email firstname.lastname@example.org