Here are some things you might not know about The Business Womans Network

  1. The BWN had its first meeting in  March 2009 in a small cafe on Mersea Island.  It was born out of founder Mandie Holgate’s frustration that there was no local support just for women in business.
  2. Our first speaker was Lynette Allen,  an internationally renowned and recognised coach. She recently “returned” to us and spoke on being credible at a meeting at our Suffolk branch
  3. Our Suffolk branch is now run by Meg Reid  A professional coach for over a decade, Meg is a published writer and founder of the UK Coaching Partnership which trains personal and corporate coaches.
  4. Bridget Greenwood, our Norfolk co-ordinator  spent months making round trips of over 120 miles travelling down from Norwich to Colchester to attend BWN meetings as there was nothing like it in her area. She had such enthusiasm for The BWN that we decided to expand into Norwich. Bridget was the perfect person to run it.
  5.  It’s not just businesses we support. We have a strong sense of community and help charities – both national and local ones. Colchester Mind, LAM Action and Farleigh Hospice are just three of the charities we’ve helped.
  6. We raised around £5000 for  Farleigh Hospice by starring in a naked calendar. We could have organised a pamper evening or a skills bank, but a calendar seemed like more fun!
  7. Our Herts co-ordinator, Tina Walker,  is a Virtual Assistant which means day in day, she deals with a wide variety of businesses. Can you think of a better qualification for a BWN co-ordinator?
  8.  We really really understand marketing and social media. On google we rank higher than many older and bigger womens networking group and our IT fairy has been into social networking since the mid 90s. To put that into context, the Facebook guy hadn’t even finished high school then!
  9. We don’t believe in block outs or membership fees. OK, we know they exists but they have no place in the BWN. There’s no way that one accountant, web designer, coach, lawyer, PR agent, etc could handle all the businesses that come to The BWN, so we don’t have a silly rule that says only of each type of business can attend. 
  10. There are so many great things about the BWN, we now realise we need a longer list…..


  11. Two women were once at a different network “arguing” about who went to the best network. Each was convinced they were correct and they were – they both attended the BWN but hadn’t met until that day! 


  12. Even though there are no membership fees, we say that if you’ve been to a meeting or get our newsletter then you are member of The BWN 


  13. Speakers flock to us and ask to speak. And we only say yes to the best. Mary Keightley from Mind Associates ,  freelance writer, print and broadcast journalist Harriet Griffey and Alexandra Watson, The Happiness Coach(as seen on The X-Factor and in Good Housekeeping, Marie Claire, Eve, Psychologies, Now, The Independent, Daily Express) are three we were delighted to say yes to.


  14. Even though we’re a network for business women, we have male speakers too as to be the best we believe in learning from the best. Steve Clarke  (UK Sales and Marketing Mentor), Nick Looby (famous for his invisible powerpoint show) and Marcus Oakey  (The Charisma Coach) have braved our all-female network. They loved the energy and positive attitude to business so much that they were keen to speak for us more than once!


  15.  For 15 consecutive months we have attracted new members to our meetings. Women keep telling other business women how we have helped them to grow their business.


  16. We could go on for longer, but you have work to do! But if there’s something we haven’t mentioned that you think we should mention let us know!
  • March 20, 2012
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