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Invercargill Witnesses Development of New Women-centric Business Network

Angela Evans founded a networking club in Invercargill out of a desire to meet like-minded people and have a support structure for her business. Evans, who grew up in Southland, had returned to Invercargill from Auckland, retrained in a different profession, and found herself in a “completely different business network”.

After discovering that there was no branch in Southland, Evans took on the role of Venus regional manager, launching the network’s Invercargill edition. According to its website, the Venus Businesswomen Network was a charitable organization that assisted women business owners in growing their businesses and provided various trainings.

Evans stated that as a self-employed individual, working for oneself may be a lonely endeavor, and she was interested in developing relationships and getting to know others in the workplace. She had pushed the network before Christmas and got interest, and there were now ten members. The first group had three meetings, and she was looking for more members to create a second group. To make things “fair and diverse,” she stated that each group will have only one representative from each industry.

So far, the members had been getting to know each other and their enterprises, with the intention of referring clients or otherwise supporting one another’s operations. The network welcomed anyone who worked for any company, were self-employed, or had their own business.

“As a health and nutrition coach, I develop my business by taking on new customers. It’s a terrific way to gain the trust of others and then have them refer you.” Evans said members would also be able to connect with other Venus Businesswomen members across the country.

Carolyn Banks, chief executive officer, stated that the charity had been in existence since 2009 and had 800 members nationwide.

Banks emphasized the importance of collaboration to support corporate growth through networking groups and training programs. “One thing Covid showed us was that businesses that failed didn’t do the fundamentals properly. That element of the [Venus] business arose from Covid.”

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