Business networking has become a regular feature in The Frockery's calendar and one of our favourite outings is to the regular Women in Business events run by the local Business Gateway, which bring together ladies who run businesses or who are thinking about starting out in business. There is usually a guest presentation on a relevant topic such as PR, marketing or finance and plenty of time for informal networking.
We have been attending these WIB events since we started out ourselves four years ago and lots of useful business connections as well as personal friendships have been forged as a result. Undoubtedly, the most encouraging trend has been the significant increase in the number and diversity of aspiring female entrepreneurs who are choosing to enter the world of self-employment for a myriad of reasons and with a myriad of ideas.
There was a (rather too tightly!) packed house for this month’s event in Perth, which featured a 'no nonsense marketing' presentation by Steven Gorton of Fraktul. In the audience were lots of new faces, some pre-start up and others at the fledgling stage as well as more established and experienced business women.
There were ladies specialising in image consultancy, calligraphy, proofreading and editorial services, a personal assistant, photographer, jewellery maker, window distributor and even a young joineress! Too many to meet and greet in the time available in fact, but we were delighted to run into a lovely lady who is about to open a dress agency in Perth and who shares our enthusiasm for affordable preloved fashion.
Then on Twitter this morning we spotted an interesting link to this blog post by Matt Thomas of Smarta, who argues convincingly that self employment will soon become the norm. It seems that the growing entrepreneurial trend is not confined to women as research has shown that young people are also setting up on their own in unprecedented numbers, citing student debt and high unemployment with no graduate job guarantee as compelling reasons for doing so. And who can blame any of them?
Self employment is not for everyone, of course, as it can involve some very difficult challenges and risks as well as rewards, especially in these troubled economic times. It is, however, heartening to see the nation’s small businesses once again in the ascendant and to witness the wifies and weans leading the way.