Local businesswomen looking to gain advice, companionship and support have found each other thanks to a networking group called Coffee Connection.
With the idea of uniting women in business, Barbara Gill created Coffee Connection. The group started in Annapolis and has since branched out to Severna Park.
“I wanted to create a free networking event for professional and entrepreneural women,” Gill said. “Other networking groups, like chambers, are so expensive and times are tough. With Coffee Connection people can grow a business network with women they can relate to for no cost.”
Gill is retired from the federal government and now owns a home advertising business for a green manufacturing company. She said Coffee Connection is filled with all kinds of businesswomen, including photographers, financial planners, managers of various stores and women from “all walks of life.”
The group is open to any woman who already has a business and is looking to promote it. The group meets monthly at local businesses to get together and discuss ideas.
“It really has helped a lot of people,” Gill said. “I had a woman who recently started a business but wanted a graphic designer. She came to a meeting and found someone who does graphic design. Women are always connecting with each other.”
Since starting Coffee Connection, Gill has established an email list of more than 1,000 addresses of potential or current businesswomen. The Severna Park chapter of the group was formed two years ago.
Coffee Connection is free to join and anyone interested can attend the January meeting which will be held at Victoria’s Fancy Foods at 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 17.
“The women that we meet and the ones that support the group are dynamic and very giving,” Gill said. “It's a tough economic time where it’s a lot of dog-eat-dog but I don’t find that in Coffee Connection. It really is a genuine desire to support women.”