Another successful Joint Networking Event for WIB and the NI Chamber of Commerce

Women in Business Connecting Networks

Business networking was the theme today as over 150 local businesses took part in activities designed to help them make new business contacts.

The initiative delivered by Women in Business in partnership with Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and funded by Invest Northern Ireland was so popular with local firms that registrations closed many weeks ago and since then there has been a large number of enquiries from businesses looking to take part. Appropriately, the Equality Commission also supported the event which saw female led businesses meet with their male counterparts.

The activities including speed networking and seminars, were designed to assist businesses increase their contacts base and form new business relationships both downstream on the supplier side and upstream on the customer side. Participants were able to raise their business profile, build mutually beneficial business relationships and expand their markets by generating new business contacts with potential customers, suppliers and partners.

Many were able to share ideas, innovation and knowledge of best practice and made good use of this promotional opportunity. Often businesses operate within their own mini–networks and rarely get the opportunity to step outside and spread their message to a wider professional audience. The benefits and demand for such meant that this event was massively oversubscribed with over 100 companies registering an interest after bookings had closed.

Edel Doherty, Chair of Women in Business said networking is essential for local small businesses; Demand for these initiatives where businesses engage with other businesses is very high, and I can see why. Earlier this month our members met with the Belfast Entrepreneurs Network and toady it's the Chamber of Commerce. When they meet, new relationships and partnerships are formed and new business opportunities created. This exercise of connecting our local business networks is very powerful in helping to increase competitiveness and grow businesses.

Sharon Polson, Head of Enterprise Development Team at Invest NI said: "It is proven that collaboration increases company competitiveness and networking events are key to helping businesses to become more entrepreneurial, innovative and internationally focused".

This has been a very successful connection that Women in Business has made with the NI Chamber of Commerce and the success of this event will ensure more 'connecting networks' initiatives will be delivered soon.