I was recently introduced to Women’s Business Club Toronto by Lisette Andreyko-Peerlings, one of the organization’s four leaders (pictured second from left). She invited me to attend their November 12 networking meeting to learn more about how they help women in business.
Women’s Business Club Toronto provides a forum for ongoing networking, business support, and a creative mastermind/brainstorming mentality for women who are entrepreneurs and business owners, and those thinking of starting a small business. The group supports over 150 women from age 20 to 55+, ninety per cent of whom are self-employed while the rest are corporate professionals. The participants include freelancers, entrepreneurs, designers, bloggers, business owners, and women in marketing, social media, and other professions.
The organization was borne from the founders’ passion to help other women and the idea that we should all live our best lives while working on our businesses. The two original leaders of the club are entrepreneurs Bonnie Chan and Doina Oncel. Chantal H. Symes and Lisette Andreyko-Peerlings later joined the leadership, bringing their vast consulting skills in supporting entrepreneurs. See www.womensbusinessclub.biz for more information on the group and the bios for these talented women.
“Mastermind” meetings are held on the second Tuesday evening of each month. The venue sponsor is OfficeExec at 25 Sheppard Ave. W., Suite 300 (by Sheppard-Yonge subway). The monthly meetings are inexpensive ($15/$10 early-bird if preregister; $20 at door space permitting). Four additional customized workshops are held each year.
The November 12 meeting was held around a large boardroom table and led by Doina (pictured far left) and Lisette (second from left). Light refreshments were provided. In addition to the two leaders seven women including myself attended. I immediately felt comfortable with the small group as we introduced ourselves with brief details about what we do, what we hoped to gain from the meeting, and anecdotes of something amusing that had happened during the day.
The first half of the evening consisted of a a fun and very informative “crazy networking” exercise. We broke up into sub-groups of two or three women and spent a few minutes learning about each others’ businesses. We then took turns acting as “ambassadors” for each other taking business cards and marketing materials to the other subgroups to “sell” a fellow entrepreneur’s services.
The second half of the meeting was a “mastermind” session where participants brainstormed with each other for solutions to specific issues for which they would like support in growing their businesses. Some of the attendees, myself included, chose instead to continue one-on-one networking conversations. I really appreciated the flexible format as it allowed me to have a private in-depth discussion with a woman who mentored me on specific challenges I am facing regarding a career change into her field.
At the conclusion of the meeting participants were rewarded with prizes for their participation, sponsored by some of the group’s participants and leaders. I won three months of free web advertising! In addition those participants who had advance-promoted the meeting through a Twitter retweet campaign were entered into a draw to win a ticket worth $289 to A Woman’s Legacy featuring 7 best-selling authors on Thursday November 21 at the Metro Convention Centre. I was thrilled to win that ticket and will tbe accompanying Doina to the event which I will tweet from using @Sailonsilver and #AWomansLegacy . Use the promo code WBC for a $100 discount when you pre-register at http://bit.ly/19XNpCC .
And mark your calendar and register now for the @WBCTo Holiday Mingler And Fundraising Event taking place December 10, 2013 from 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM.
Last updated: November 20, 2013 by G. MacDonald