Nine Bendigo women have earnt an extra $70,000 in their businesses during 2019, simply through being connected.
And that's just the takings the books record. Women in the HIVE networking group relationships' allow them to support each other through referrals, bringing benefits beyond financial.
Business coach Kylie Blanchard was inspired to begin the group by the specific needs of women in business.
The group aims to grow members' businesses, but also help them grow personally.
Each session begins with a formal education session, followed by a mastermind component, where members collaborate, discussing key strategies.
And the group combats the loneliness that sole traders can feel.
"Women do business differently, but they also own different styles of business to men," Ms Blanchard said.
"Entrepreneurship and owning a business can be a lonely place. It's really easy to feel like you're the only one that's overwhelmed or got staff issues, or haven't got the sales plan all sorted out, so it's really useful to connect to other people to realise you're not the only one.
"Often someone else has experienced what you're going through, so there's a solution. When you get a collective together and share ideas, you go in with one idea and come out with ten other ideas."
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The women signed up are involved with everything from holistic and health services, to professional businesses, smash repairs, accounting and bookkeeping. Some own their own businesses, others work for larger companies.
Member Sarah Gawler, a Home and Investment Lending Manager at ANZ Bendigo has found developing a network is an increasingly important part of her job, as the banking industry changes.
Banks now have less foot traffic, meaning networking is key to bringing in business, Ms Gawler said.
"Networking's become a big part of our job," Ms Gawler said,
The public speaking involved at the meeting has also helped build her confidence.
More information at: facebook.com/thehivenetwork/
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