On Friday, February 26th I attended the Monthly Networking Event for Women Entrepreneurs, put on by WeCan Network. WeCan Network was founded in Calgary, Alberta and is a space for women entrepreneurs to network and come together to share business ideas (WeCan, n.d.). I chose this event since it was for women in business and specifically in Canada. It was a great place to meet like-minded people and begin breaking out of my shell and networking.
This event was hosted by Zulfira Pulotova who is the WeCan Founder. I also had the opportunity to meet four other wonderful women. I met Chelse who has her own plant-based manufacturing company in Rhode Island, I thought it was neat to meet her since she was from the states and we had the opportunity to talk about the differences in business between the two countries. I also met Mila who, like me was there to do some general networking and get to know other women in business. The third person I met was Holy who currently works for the city of Calgary, and finally Alga who works in Alberta’s education centre. Since we were such a small group, we all had several opportunities to speak and ask each other questions. It was very different than any in-person networking event I have attended, but I really enjoyed it.
A few things I learned at this event was how to find funding for starting a new business, specifically government grants. Something that I learned more specifically is that MasterCard has a foundation for business grants. I thought this was very interesting and something I may begin to look into further.
Something that I was able to contribute to the interaction was that I could provide some knowledge on using social media in business. Holy specifically asked me about how she could use Twitter for her business. I was able to provide her some guidance and answer a few of her marketing questions.
Some ideas I have walked away from that event with are some tips on your business’ elevator pitch. Zulfira reminded us to practice our pitch often and memorize it well. She also mentioned that while it is hard to talk about ourselves, and often sounds like we are bragging, it is so important to do it when selling our brand and networking. I thought these pieces of advice were very helpful and something I will be focusing on for myself.
One quote from the event that really stood out to me was:
Who do you want to show up as? Build your brand and pitch around that.
I will definitely be attending a similar event in the future. My goal is to attend one networking event every quarter throughout the year. WeCan actually offers networking events on the last Friday of each month, so I may start attending more frequently if possible. I would like to attend more to help me overcome my shyness and network better. I specifically liked being with other women in business. I think the really great part of having such a small group together was that we all added each other on LinkedIn before we parted ways. Furthermore, there is a closed Facebook group that we have now all been invited to join to stay in touch, hear about other networking events, and learn more business tips along the way!
Eventbrite, (26, Feb 2021). Monthly Networking Event for Women Entrepreneurs. Retrieved from https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/monthly-networking-event-for-women-entrepreneurs-tickets-141735722361#
WeCan. (No date). Reinvent. Grow Your Business. Retrieved from https://www.wecanetwork.ca/