With the many celebrations and observances for the contributions of women in the month of March, we decided to theme this month’s blog on different ways to connect with women in business – specifically in our hometown of Grande Prairie, Alberta. Even if you are not from our city, it may spark ideas on how to find similar opportunities in your own community.
In-person or virtual, networking can be a great opportunity to introduce yourself to new people in the business community, and your fellow women entrepreneurs.
There are a couple of women-focused networking groups in Grande Prairie, Grande Prairie – Women in Business and Women 4 Women. Both of these groups connect with their communities on Facebook. They schedule networking opportunities and share relevant content for women entrepreneurs in their groups.
Finding like-minded businesswomen in the community is not hard if you know where to start. Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce hosts their After 5 Mixer once a month and is available to members who can also bring guests (registration may be required before the event). They also have a number of different opportunities throughout the year including a Women in Business Lunch during Small Business Week (near the end of October) and more.
If you want to commit to networking more frequently, Business Networking International (BNI) is a great way to build and nurture relationships on a weekly basis with different business professionals. BNI is a global networking organization that currently has three chapters in Grande Prairie. BNI has chapters that meet in-person, virtual and hybrid (a mix of in-person and virtual).
Don’t overlook panel discussions or workshops. At most of these events, there is time before it starts or afterward to network and mingle. You may find like-minded women at this type of event because the topics are focused which becomes a great opportunity to make connections. The Glow Collective hosts a Panel Series where different women in the community share the stage and engage in a panel discussion sharing life stories and their expertise with attendees.
We also recommend finding annual conferences that are relevant to your industry and using these opportunities to connect with other women in business.
Masterminds provide an opportunity for peer-to-peer guidance. This format encourages conversation, sharing of experiences and relationship building. There are women-focused groups, but there are still opportunities to meet other women in diverse mastermind groups too.
Business Link offers their Peerpreneur Sessions which is a 4-week program of peer-to-peer virtual group discussions facilitated by a Business Link Strategist. The program is designed for existing business owners who are currently operating a small business or startup in Alberta.
Clubs are a great way to build better relationships with others in the community. We recently found out that a ladies-only lunch club was created in Grande Prairie. Ladies Who Lunch, hosted by Pierre & Co and Petals + Posies Flower Co, is a membership lunch club for women to connect or meet new ladies. The event is held at a different location and an incredible atmosphere is created for women to utilize the lunch date as an opportunity to connect.
Find a women-owned business to work with. Think about what synergies there could be between your business and other women-led businesses that are relevant to yours. Try partnering for different occasions, whether it’s content or collaborating on an upcoming event and see if you can create a partnership that is mutually beneficial. Not only will it give you the opportunity to share space with other women-led businesses but share experiences, stories and leverage each other’s skills.
Creating strong relationships in your community is important to growing your business. Invest time and use ways to connect that feel the most relevant and authentic to you and your business. We hope our list of opportunities to connect with women entrepreneurs helps you get engaged in your community and foster relationships that are valuable in growing your business.
If you aren’t sure where you should start, contact us. We would love to connect with you and have a quick 30-min marketing chat.
Mariah Braun (She/Her), M3M Marketing Owner, Director of Business Development & Content Creator – Blog Writer
Mariah, Owner of M3M Marketing, has spent most of her career focused on creating content for various organizations. She has managed marketing projects for the public sector, post-secondary education, and small businesses since 2015.
Justine Kelsie (She/Her), M3M Marketing Content Creator – Blog Editor