80 women in business in front of the stage at Great Women in Business Event

Empowering Collaboration: The Inaugural Great Women in Business Event Unites Midlands Entrepreneurs on International Womens Day

On Friday, March 8th, Solihull in the Midlands witnessed a brand new and unique event in celebration of International Women’s Day. The Great Women in Business Meet Up, hosted by four remarkable Women in Business Networks led by Sharon Louca from Women’s Business Network, Karen Heap from Socially Shared Business Support Network, Sandra Garlick MBE from Woman Who Achieves, and Dawn Owen from High Vibe Tribe. This event marked a significant collaboration of women in business networks operating in the Midlands area and beyond.

The brainchild of this collaborative effort was Karen Heap, who approached Sharon, Sandra, and Dawn with the innovative concept. Instantly resonating with the idea, the four leaders shared a belief in Collaboration over Competition. Recognizing the unique offerings of each network, they envisioned a collective effort to create something truly exceptional.

Hosted at The Village Hotel in Solihull, The Great Women in Business Event drew 80 women from across the region and beyond for a day of connection and networking. Unlike many events where attendees only get fleeting interactions, this day was structured around facilitated networking activities and masterclasses led by each of the network leaders. These sessions aimed to distill years of knowledge and experience in attending and running networking events.

The event received an honourable visit from The Worshipful Mayor of Solihull, Councillor Diana Holl-Allen MBE, who delivered an insightful talk and engaged with the attendees. Sandra Godley OBE, BCA, served as the host, fostering interaction and leading Q&A sessions, ensuring a fulfilling day for all.

The masterclasses covered a range of essential topics

1. Perfecting Your Pitch – led by Karen Heap (Socially Shared)

Karen Heap led a session on Perfecting Your Pitch, empowering women to craft compelling pitches that succinctly convey their message. Attendees were guided through preparing a mini pitch, followed by structuring an effective 60-second pitch to utilize at future networking events. The focus was on clearly and concisely explaining what one does, for whom, how, and why.

2. Embracing Authenticity and the Power of Vulnerability – led by Sharon Louca (Women’s Business Network)

Sharon delivered a powerful session intertwined with personal stories from her 15-year networking journey. She emphasized the importance of authenticity in fostering genuine connections, leading to supportive relationships and tangible results. By sharing her own vulnerabilities, Sharon demonstrated the value of bravery in seeking support through networking.

3. The True Cost of Networking – led by Dawn Owen (High Vibe Tribe)

Dawn Owen shared insights on The True Cost of Networking, highlighting the necessity of a strategic approach to ensure that time and money invested yield desired outcomes. Her session emphasized seeking collaborative opportunities, showing up authentically, and being intentional in conversations. Dawn advocated for purposeful 1-to-1 interactions, focusing on mutual benefit.

4. Being Visible and Prepared at Networking Events – led by Sandra Garlick MBE (Woman Who Achieves)

Sandra Garlick MBE discussed strategies for maximizing networking effectiveness, emphasizing preparation before, during, and after events. She stressed the importance of leaving a memorable impression and maintaining visibility even when not physically present. Sandra encouraged attendees to develop 90-day networking plans to optimize their efforts.

Throughout the day, the energy in the room was palpable, with new connections forming and relationships solidifying. The event’s success was further strengthened by the support of local businesses, whose sponsorship ensured a seamless experience for all attendees.

Local businesses who sponsored the event were Headline Sponsors Anne Wordsworth from Cube Accounting in Rugby and Nichola Hemmings from The Soul Angels in Hall Green. The refreshment breaks throughout the day were sponsored by Calibre VA Services, GT VA Services, Mulberry Design and Recruit Recruit. Our media sponsors were Claire Keogh from In Her Wildest Dreams, Sarah Day from She Roars Media and Chloe Grey from Mr and Mrs Grey.

Facilitating a day of networking and connection among women in business was truly gratifying. Witnessing like-minded women come together, driven by a shared passion to empower and support one another, affirmed the transformative power of collaboration.

5 women standing on stage at an eventStay tuned for announcements regarding future events under the banner of Great Women in Business.

This endeavor is not just a one-time occurrence but a beacon of empowerment and solidarity for women in business everywhere.