Having this year off university and focusing on my blog has really made me realise the pros and cons of working for yourself. While its great because you get to concentrate on your passion and enjoy what you are doing, working for yourself also means working by yourself a lot of the time. I am lucky in the fact that as I’m still a student, I live with my family, so I don’t feel isolated. However, I’ve seen many people speaking of the loneliness involved in a self-employed lifestyle. For my fellow East Midlanders (not sure if that’s an acceptable term) though, the Leicester Fempreneur Community is a group to help reduce this negative side of running your own business.
I was gifted a ticket for the May event. See my disclaimer for more details.
Leicester Fempreneur Community
In Leicester, Renu Ravalia recognised this issue and decided to do something about it, setting up the Leicester Fempreneur Community. The venture started in January 2019 as a free Facebook group and Instagram page to help like-minded female entrepreneurs (or people like me with a side project that you’re passionate about) build relationships and create friendships to help combat the isolation of working alone.
Creating the Networking Events
In March, the first physical networking event took place. Currently, there have been 4 events altogether hosted by 4 different small businesses in Leicester – The Pantry, Amelia Nour, The Villare Hotel in collaboration with Leicester Fashion Week and Lily Loves Shopping (Market Harborough).
During the events, you hear from the each host (usually the owner of the event location) and get the chance to meet fellow fempreneurs (female entrepreneurs).
I was kindly invited by Renu to the May event which was hosted at the Villare Hotel in Leicester. It was a special event in conjunction with Leicester Fashion Week and we got to hear from 4 different designers showcasing their work during the week as well as have the chance to network. As far as I could tell, I was the only blogger there, but it was interesting hearing about everyone’s different careers and getting an insight into the fashion industry.
While I was gifted my ticket, you do have to pay for the events normally. Each event has a different offering from goody bags to canapés and sweet treats, but each ticket price includes a drink and fun networking ice breaker. I would say it is worth it, as you get to meet more people and hear about different industries. Plus, it’s a change of scenery from working at home or wherever you are based!
The next event is taking place on Wednesday 26th June, which you can find more about here. There are a limited number of tickets available, so it is important to get in there early.
Feature Image Credit: Deepa Rodrigues taken at the Amelia Nour event