Clare Valley chapter launched

South Australia’s Clare Valley now has a chapter of the Women in Business Regional Network.

Among those to attend the Clare lunch were Joan Stam, Michelle Sanders, Tania Furler,
Jane Jeffrey, Dee Scown, Nan Berrett, Ally Guerin, Bridget John, Leanne Hasting, Charmaine Henson, Kristina Soggee, Gaynor Hellier and Carmel Vandermolen.

An inaugural lunch was held at Sevenhill Hotel on July 8, attended by 18 women from throughout the valley as well as the Mid North and Yorke Peninsula.

The Clare Valley chapter is the ninth to be added to the network.

Network founder Carolyn Jeffrey said it was wonderful to be able to finally launch in the Clare Valley after COVID-19 resulted in cancellation of the original launch date in March.

“Now, more than ever, women in business require the support of others in their local communities and more broadly,” Carolyn said.

“Our events – either in-person or online – provide the perfect opportunity for women in business to reach out to others for physical and emotional support, to seek the expertise or learn from others, to look for collaboration opportunities or to simply just have a laugh and chat with peers.”

Carolyn said the range of businesses represented included those operating side hustles and working as sole traders from home through to those who have shopfronts and employ many locals.

“The network is founded on the principle that everyone who attends our events has something to offer someone else, and the range of people at our first event certainly augurs well for the future in the Clare Valley,” she said.

Carolyn paid tribute to the region’s first member Nan Berrett of Word Solutions who already has a local Facebook group operating in a bid to bring local women in business together.

“Nan is very passionate about assisting local women in business, particularly the more mature among us.  Her skills and her commitment to the Clare Valley will be real assets to our network,” Carolyn said.

The learning topic for the first lunch was business planning – why people need to have a plan and how to put together a basic strategic plan.

“I strongly believe there’s much to gain by women putting pen to paper to prepare plans for their business.  We have so much in our heads we need to think about and if we can get some ideas and plans on paper that’s a few less things we need to remember, and we can focus on thinking about our other loves, including our families,” Carolyn said.

“Although no-one could have planned for COVID-19, there are many threats to our businesses we can foresee and potentially look at dealing with them before they hit.

“And, it’s not only the threats we should consider, but also the many opportunities for our businesses, particularly now that it has been shown that many people no longer have to be based in cities.  This is a great opportunity for regional areas, particularly those like the Clare Valley that are so close to cities too.”

The network will be returning for a lunch on Wednesday, September 9 at a venue to be announced.