Looking for a Fun Way to Network? Check Out The Alliance for Professional Women
When my sister started her financial planning business, she became the Queen of Networking. If there was a committee or a board that involved women in business, she was on it. So, naturally, when I started my own business and began looking for everything from graphic design to legal assistance, I asked her if she knew anyone who might be able to help me out. And every contact she gave me had one thing in common.
They all belonged to the Alliance for Professional Women.
The APW defines itself as a “soft networking” group which basically means they like to build relationships first and then refer business. They hold a monthly luncheon at various restaurants around Denver where they invite motivational speakers and occasionally have drawings for everything from books to a night at The Brown Palace. They have Business After Hours events like spa nights and wine tastings and all of the events I have attended have been filled with laughter with some business card exchanging on the side.
Every time I participate in an APW event, I meet someone new and I am constantly surprised by the variety of industries represented. Women who are involved with travel agencies, financial services, all types of legal services, and at-home businesses (like Arbonne) are there. Human Resources, Interior Design, Health and Beauty – even retired professionals – all find a place in this group. And everyone has their own reason for joining: Some are looking to grow their businesses but many are just looking to meet new people. At the last luncheon I attended, the woman sitting next to me had just been transferred to Denver by her company. “I just wanted to meet new friends,” she said. “So here I am.”
Worried that your type of business may already be represented and that there might not be room for yours? Don’t. This organization of women wants to see you thrive and the dynamic of the APW is one that promotes success, not competition. Those members who find themselves in the same business with someone else love figuring out ways in which they can work together, whether it’s by referring business back and forth based on specialty, or bonding over other industry-specific networking groups that they belong to and inviting each other to go along.
But the APW’s outreach isn’t all about business. By creating the Alliance Foundation in 1994, the Alliance for Professional Women has provided college scholarships for women in the local community, as well as microloans for low-income women around the world by funding the Village Bank Program. The upcoming September 13th luncheon, which is free to attend, will be focused on the Alliance Foundation and the global impact the APW and its members have on many women’s futures.
So, if you have thought any one of these things…
I wish I could meet new people.
I wish I could grow my business.
I wish I could go to lunch once a month with people I enjoy being around and get motivated.
I wish I knew of a great cause that I could be a part of.
…then come join us for a luncheon and see what we’re all about.
Because when women help other women, there’s no limit to what we can do.
Catherine Tidd is a writer, widow and mother of three. She is the founder of www.theWiddahood.com, a free peer support website dedicated to anyone who has lost a significant other and has a Facebook peer support page under the name Widow Chick. She has been published in several books about grief and renewal and also writes a blog on anything that pops into her nutty brain called Bud Light Wishes and Cheeto Dreams.