Investment on our personal and professional development is always one of the key things in our life and this is what we discussed together in our networking event, ‘How to succeed with your business and personal growth’ on 18th October 2014, bringing together more than 60 migrant women. Networking and connecting with different people coming from different countries has become a popular trend and this is what migrant women like to do. We have asked our speakers from the event to share their opinions.
“Networking is a place to build a community”
Networking is important for any business that would like to grow. If you look at the definition of ‘Networking’:
- It is to connect and operate within a network
- Interact with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts
While networking, you are:
- Prospecting and growing your client base
- Looking for opportunities
- Selling yourself (as a leader, supplier, supporter, etc) and your business (pitching)
- Networking shows your character (it makes it more personal). It’s a chance for face to face meetings as relationships are developed when you spend time together not over emails.
- Using it as a development platform
- Networking is a chance to meet new people and develop existing relationships
- Providing and receiving support in a systematic way
- Refining listening and learning skills
- Collaborating and expanding horizons rather than the traditional keeping of secrets and competing
- Seeking innovation opportunities. In the UK, companies do a lot of networking when trying to innovate (as innovation requires the collaboration of different parties to bring the idea to the market)
As a Migrant Woman it is a chance for:
- Building your support network and breaking barriers
- Equipping yourself with connections and your business with added value supply chains
- Building a community and getting advice
- Learning about the country, its regulations, etc (by finding about other people and their business)
- Exchanging ideas and expanding your horizon
- Doing better business
- Hearing about how other women who have succeeded in establishing their businesses or professional roles
“Networking can open doors for migrant women”
Networking can open doors for migrant women. Good networks will recommend you to potential customers and collaborators, share knowledge and provide support. Networks are two way and you should find ways to give before you receive. I always ask “How can I help you and your work?” It’s a great conversation opener and there are often people that you can connect someone with in your network, this then starts the relationship which you can nurture over time. At some point there may be something the person can help you with, but don’t expect.
Give without expectation and you will receive much more. I have countless examples of sharing my time and expertise for someone in need and years later when things are better for them, they come back to me with an opportunity. Give and Gain is my motto for networking!
“Networking promotes a sense of self-worth and solidarity”
Networking brings people together to share information, views and experience. It also promotes a sense of self-worth, solidarity and the building of common bonds. Particularly important for people who are migrants and may feel isolated in their current circumstances. It also offers an opportunity to develop ideas and projects and share these with others. It allows people an opportunity to shine.
For example this networking event with migrant women I could share some information about government support for businesses and how it is managed. Detailed funding opportunities and agencies and showed delegates how they can access some of these opportunities. Further information was given about sources of information, advice and guidance, to enable people to access these resources and network with agencies who deliver these services.