Networking ‘vital for femal entrepreneurs’

Networking is a vital source of business for women entrepreneurs, according to a survey by The Athena Network.

Networking is a vital source of business for women entrepreneurs, according to a survey by The Athena Network.
A survey of businesswomen found 39% of respondents said they get more 50% of their total business through networking, with 26% getting more than 70% of their business this way.
Some 80% felt networking has helped them by providing support, 57% for meeting suppliers and 73% for meeting new clients.
Other results showed:
– 66% started joining formal networking groups after they had children, but only 15% work around the school run.
– 72% work from home and 61% are the sole employee of their business.
– On average, 65% receive one or two third party referrals a month through networking and 68% give one or two third party referrals a month. 
– 69% of the women questioned said they preferred lunchtime for networking meetings
– 73% said you need to really know the person you refer on, 69% said their reputation is vital and 54% said their business acumen is important.
National sales director, Sylvia Baldock, says: “We know that generally franchisors would like to see an increase in enquiries from women more than any other group, but that self-motivation and hard work are more important to franchisors than gender, qualifications or experience when they are looking at prospective franchisees.  Women make fantastic franchisees and in addition are excellent networkers.”
The Athena Network is a franchising network which already comprises 26 franchises. It has over 2,600 networking members across 30 regions nationwide and is now launching its second development phase to sign up a further 20 franchises across the UK by the end of 2012.  
Baldock says: “Women are fantastic networkers.  51%of our respondents belong to two or three networking groups and  55% said they make it their business to attend two or three networking events a month.
“Interestingly 85% joined a networking group because they wanted more business and 44% wanted more support, but 44% have learnt a lot about marketing as a result of being part of a networking group and 27% have a much better understanding of how to grow their business.”

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