Network celebrates first anniversary

The Women in Business Regional Network recently celebrated its first anniversary.

The organisation was started as a social enterprise by Carolyn Jeffrey of CJ’s Business Solutions in October 2017 to create a support and education network for women in business in regional areas of South Australia.

Since its inception the organisation has grown to include 50 foundation members from throughout the Southern Fleurieu Peninsula with regular functions held in Victor Harbor and Strathalbyn.

The network has been privileged to welcome a number of keynote speakers at its lunches and dinners including Robyn Verrall from Bully Meats of Keith who spoke about overcoming crises, Moira Deslandes the founder of Chooks SA as well as our own inspirational member Stephanie Altus who spoke about dealing with PTSD.

As well the range of training topics has included tips on cost-effective marketing, social media, websites, Google Analytics, public speaking, effective networking and business planning.

2019 is set to be another exciting year for the network with plans to expand into the neighbouring areas of the Adelaide Hills, Murray Bridge and the Southern Vales for regular meetups, the introduction of mentoring programs, support for start-up businesses as well as specialist training sessions and a wide range of speakers. We’re also looking to create some more specialised and intimate interest groups from within the network who have common business interests eg tradies, hospitality, home businesses etc.

“Our first year has been overwhelmingly successful simply because of the fantastic way everyone has support each other and the individual achievements of the members,” Carolyn said.

“I just love hearing about the successes and what women are saying they are getting out of being part of the network.”

Among the goals kicked by members this year are:

  • Various business awards for Fleurieu Crash Repairs, HamperWarehouse, Specsavers Victor Harbor Betta Home Living Victor Harbor;
  • Two members – Stephanie Altus and Jen Binney – launched their first books;
  • Three of five members who ran for positions on council were elected – Moira Jenkins (Victor Harbor mayor) plus Karyn Bradford and Bronwyn Lewis became first time councillors for Alexandrina Council;
  • Members moved from home-based businesses to have their own commercial retail space – Deb DeCure (The Fairy Port) and Lynda Pugliese (NewHouse Blinds);
  • New businesses formed and collaborations and employment have occurred;
  • And many stepped out of their comfort zones speaking publicly about their businesses and themselves or in trying out and learning new skills.

Remember the Women in Business Regional Network may not ask you to join a committee, but we certainly value your input as it is really an organisation there for you.

If you would like to make suggestions about topics for functions, to host a function or contribute to the newsletter don’t hesitate to contact Carolyn on 0435 432 203 or email network@wibnetwork.com.au.