Connected entrepreneurs

Having a network providing support and advice about business can mean a lot for aspiring women entrepreneurs.

Latrobe Women in Business treasurer Jane Leslie said it could be challenging for women given the different roles they played, but receiving support from other women could provide vital encouragement.

“Starting a business can be really scary and having people wanting to share their ideas and provide help can encourage women to take the lead,” Ms Leslie said.

LWIB committee member Wendy McEwan said women experienced a mixture of excitement and fear when planning to venture into business but the experience of others who had been there could serve as an inspiration.

Since 2011 LWIB has connected professional women and women entrepreneurs who have shared ideas on a range of topics relating to business and professional development.

Ms Leslie said the idea to establish a women’s business network came about because of identified gaps in some professional development and networking opportunities for women.

“There were lots of things available but there was nothing exclusively for women,” she said.

In a survey done by LWIB of about 300 people it was identified that most women want to learn more on topics relating to skills and personal development.

Ms Leslie said the organisation held events where they invited speakers and women to get together and have an opportunity to network and help each other.

“We’ve had some women who’ve started a business and needed some mentoring support and people say, ‘I actually have a business I’ll help you and mentor you and provide advice.’ It’s very much about collaboration and sharing,” she said.

She said one topic participants found relevant was the issue of resilience because women have a tendency to “have it all.”

“Sometimes we’re our own enemies because of unrealistic expectations,” she said.

“We can’t be superwomen all the time.”

LWIB’s next event will be on 21 March at the Premiere Function Centre, Traralgon.

For more information visit