As the maxim goes, it isn’t what you know, but who you know. The very round table is giving entrepreneurial women both.
Women in business have a deep and collective understanding of the challenges and frustrations that are experienced when embarking on, establishing, or scaling a business, especially if they operate in a traditionally male-dominated space.
While it’s commonly agreed that women also bear the brunt of the emotional labour today’s modern lives demand of us, any woman in business is likely also to be constantly challenged to find the time and energy not only for herself, but also friends and partners, families, often including children and more often, aging parents too.
In Australia, we are lucky to be a population of ambitious, inspiring, and creative women, for the most part keen to open up and share solutions and achievements, seek advice, and network to support each other to overcome problems.
We call this The (Very) Round Table; societies, meetups and online groups whose sole purpose is to fuel excellence in female entrepreneurs and women in business. Platforms such as these provide invaluable opportunities to meet, interrelate, discuss business, personal and mental health issues, support one another, and in many instances, create everlasting relationships.
So on the eve of International Women’s Day 2020 (on 8 March), here are our Top 20 business platforms for female entrepreneurs:
Founded in Stockholm in 2014, HER is a global community representing a diverse group of founders, creators and change-makers from a wide cross-section of industries. Diversity in age, professional orientation, experience & background is valued and above all, celebrated! They hold events (including in Sydney) that foster authentic relationships leading to meaningful, long-term connections and positive personal and professional change.
Being a member of Women’s Network Australia is so much more than a business card swap. Membership fees provide access for women from a vast range of professions and business backgrounds who to access (or become) mentors, make friends and offer and receive business and career advice and support.
The drive behind The Dream Collective is to see more women in leadership, and drive long-term and sustainable change in women’s representation in the corporate landscape. They offer programs which focus on shaping and equipping high-potential young women in business with the skills to advance into leadership positions.
TGIBM is a supportive community which holds regular events to connect like-minded local women all over Australia. Their events are designed to ignite (or reignite) passion for a business idea or strategy, supporting and motivating members to take theirs to the next level.
WiT’s vision is to advance, connect and empower women in technology and life sciences. WiT is committed to developing a strong and sustainable network for members and supporters. They advocate for members on relevant issues to advance the presence and status of women in technology and life sciences, providing development opportunities and hosting events to enable that.
Let’s clear something up. Behind the Brands isn’t just a networking group. It’s a game-changing platform for serious female entrepreneurs who want to make an impact. The purpose is to assist ambitious women to get access to the education, support and tools to build a successful and profitable business.
They regularly feature interviews with and stories about successful female entrepreneurs to inspire and encourage women to set ambitious business goals, and work hard to achieve them.
AWN Global is a referral network, which provides an online and live platform for women in business to connect and achieve success in business, through referrals, networking, events, sharing and learning. The platform was created by women, for women and all families which encompasses the ‘Five To Thrive’ areas of success: Business, Community, Financial, Physical and Social.
TEAM Women Australia is a not-for-profit organisation specialising in the power of storytelling to inspire, engage and mobilise change. Featuring regular interviews with leading Australian businesswomen, their mission is to advance women as leaders in their career, business and entrepreneurial paths while taking care of their health and wellbeing.
Powered by The League of Extraordinary Women, Meet your Maven is an online, on-demand platform for enterprise and wisdom, woman to woman, by women who have been there and done that, for women who want to. Female businesswomen are matched with relevant ‘Mavens’ who they then meet with, either in person or via video chat, to break down and overcome issues they’re facing, ask for advice, and soak in their wisdom.
Rare Bird is a great community for someone starting out on their business ownership journey. They offer mentoring from well established female entrepreneurs and support in all areas of business, from capital raising to community events. Rare Bird is to guide you on your journey mapping out every step of the way.
SBE Australia is a network helping women achieve business success. Their global network of experts includes accomplished alumnae, a dedicated Board of Directors, key business influencers, executive committees, corporate and government leaders, and successful entrepreneurs and investors. Together they help women develop the skills, knowledge, mindset and the connections needed to accelerate personal and commercial success.
HerBusiness regularly hosts events around Australia to help empower and prepare women in business to scale and grow their company to the next level. They also produce a free podcast for anyone to listen to, on which successful female entrepreneurs openly discuss some of the challenges they’ve overcome and their greatest achievements.
Business Women Australia is a national collective of women who are passionate about business success and personal growth. They are generous in sharing knowledge and support, helping each other achieve goals and dreams. Business Women Australia shares their recipes for food and business over hosted round table discussions, educational and industry expert events.
Hosted by award-winning Australian journalist, Alison Rice, Offline is a series of honest conversations with the people behind our favourite Instagram accounts, and the teachers who help us on our way. Together, Alison and her guests get real about life on the other side of the filter and explore the often confronting concept of True Self. Offline exists as a resource for anyone who is ready to look past social media’s highlight reel and develop their sense of Self. These are raw, imperfect conversations, grounded in reality.
Business Chicks is one of Australia’s most influential communities for women. Business Chicks believe that every woman is capable of building a business, but that together, we can create empires. Business Chicks is about helping women play a bigger game, giving women the tools they need to propel their business forward.
Scale is a female-focused angel investor network, empowering Australian investors to connect, invest and succeed. Since 2013, Scale Investors have been activating early-stage female-led organisations and building a supportive and sustainable network that invests in female founders today to create the female investors of tomorrow. Scale also produces a podcast interviewing female entrepreneurs.
Based on a simple truth, that women still represent an enormously under-utilised national resource, Women & Leadership Australia (WLA) is dedicated to developing female leaders and supporting the increased presence of women in business and community leadership roles. Operating in all states and territories, the WLA initiative comprises a range of high-quality professional development courses, advisory services, networking channels, and on-going research.
Working for Women is a US-based platform which leverages the collective power of business to elevate women in the workforce. It has a dual mission to enable a business to be a force for social good and elevate women in the workforce.
GC4W is an award-winning not-for-profit organization headquartered in New York City, with a reach of over 3.5 million people worldwide. GC4W is one of the leading international non-profits of the millennium in the areas of gender equality, women empowerment, and youth empowerment. They have pledged to support and empower 500,000 women and girls around the world by 2030.
It’s clear from the quality of organisations featured in this list alone, that no matter which stage of your entrepreneurial journey you are at today, you are not alone. There is someone else out there who has been in your shoes and is ready and willing to help inspire you to take that next step and exceed your goals. A (Very) Round Table indeed!