What we're about

Creating a new reality from scratch, from an idea, can be really fun. At times though, this is a lonely, frustrating and downright torturous journey. What makes it more fun and less torturous, I found, is some meaningful, practical, ongoing support from people who are in the same boat.

This is a networking group for entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs. Whatever stage you are at, whether a pre-start up, a start up, or an established business / social enterprise – you are welcome to join. The single most important aim here is for entrepreneurs to actively help each other succeed, on a voluntary basis.

We are going to do the whole networking thing a bit differently in this group. Instead of meeting once a month with a bunch of complete strangers, hoping that something might come out of it, I propose that each of us uses this group to find our own kind of people, who we are going to stick with for a while - meeting regularly in small groups, getting to know each other well, and helping each other in a prolonged, practical, more meaningful way.

I would encourage you to read each other's profiles, and when you come across someone you think you can help, or someone who might be helpful to you, or perhaps someone who lives near you - get in touch and see where it leads.

A word of advice though: please be sensible with your expectations, and have good boundaries - don't take advantage of others, and don't let others take advantage of you. Do what makes sense and feels right to you, don't be afraid to say "no" if a "yes" would mean overcommitting, and equally, please don't take it personally if you hear a "no" from someone else.

Here is how this works:

- in order to join the group, you will need to answer a few questions (what you need, what you are happy to give in exchange, and what type of a business you are starting or running),

- based on the information contained in those answers, you will be able to search for the kind of people you need (and let those who need your skills to find you),

- to make this easier, I will be sending regular updates to all members, with brief details of who joined, what they are looking for, and what they are offering in exchange (please only join the group if you are happy with your details being shared in such a way),

- at the same time, I will encourage you all to create small, local business networking groups that will regularly get together with the purpose of supporting each other, exploring new business opportunities, brainstorming each other's ideas, etc.

- if anyone wants to start a local or a subject / idea specific group, or needs some ad hoc help of any kind, here is what you can do:

* write it in your profile when you join, and I will let the whole group know what you need in my weekly email update,
* you can drop me a line and ask me to put it up as a meetup, and you will take responsibility for it from there,
* you can also put it up as a meetup yourself (I will give all members the option of starting meetups),
* or you can search a database (an excel spreadsheet I will send to members weekly) for the type of individuals you want in your group, and contact them directly.

- I also intend to organise regular larger networking events for all members (I will need some help with this, so if anyone is interested in helping out, please drop me a line!),

Here are some things this group is about:

- skill and knowledge exchange between members,
- finding business partners,
- liaising with government agencies regarding relevant supports,
- a sense of community,
- long term support in small, local groups,
- identifying and exploring new business opportunities,
- getting together to create co-working spaces,
- facilitated networking events, etc.

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