A WOMEN’S networking group covering the Tring and Aylesbury area is celebrating growing to a membership of 120 in just four years.
The Athena Network in the West Chilterns has blossomed under the leadership of former heart surgery theatre sister Sylvia Baldock, pictured right.
The Athena Network comprises 26 franchises, 2,600 networking members across 30 regions nationwide. The Berkhamsted/Tring branch meets monthly on the first Tuesday at Champneys.
Caroline Walker of Unleash Marketing in Tring said: “Belonging to Athena has been tremendous for me. I have now been a member for 2½ years and it continues to inspire, challenge and motivate me.
“Through Athena I have become part of a supportive and dynamic business community, developed strategic partnerships with other members, identified a range of suppliers who I work with, and of course most importantly of all I’ve grown my business significantly.”
Sylvia, who is regional director of Athena in the West Chilterns, said: “We have been so successful because we provide opportunities to make strategic connections with professionals in a wide range of industry sectors, encourage women in business to inspire and support others for greater success whilst also developing women’s business skills.
“I went from being a nurse to running my own health food business to sales in the pharmaceutical industry, all of which I enjoyed, but it is the power of networking that I am passionate about and that has really refined my business skillset.”
Established in 2005, The Athena Network was founded to provide women who were unable to commit to early breakfast networking meetings with opportunities to meet businesswomen from a wide range of industry sectors from large corporates to sole traders.
Athena members meet for a monthly business lunch which involves open networking, a 10 minute networking training slot, 60 second presentation on your business, a 10 minute presentation given by an industry expert on different aspects of business development, and unpressurised referral and recommendation sharing and more.