There’s a lot of talk these days about where women fit in business: from the most prestigious MBA programs to corporate culture to the rise of the female CEO. Luckily the Women’s Business Enterprise Council (WBENC) gives women business owners the opportunity to bond over these issues and aid each other in advancing their businesses in a supportive environment. As a Certified Women’s Business Enterprise, Alpine Packing is a proud member and we are ecstatic that the organization has aided us in growth since our initial induction.
Networking with other WBE companies has been a great resource tool for us. It has enabled us to secure sale leads, make introductions to other business owners, discuss future changes to our business, and brainstorm solutions to the most pressing issues in our industry. Women’s Business Enterprise National Council has been invaluable in connecting us with women who took the leap to own their own businesses, just like us.
And what about getting your foot in the door with a desired potential customer? Thanks to WBENC, we have secured one-on-one meetings with clients with whom it would have been near-impossible to establish a relationship. WBENC also provides an excellent online listing service, which assists companies to find WBE suppliers. Several of our new customers first heard about us through the WBENC website. The popularity of the matching tool underscores how important supporting women-owned businesses is to other women in the business community.
Of course the issue of networking for women business owners is especially personal for us in the manufacturing industry — an area that has always been a man’s world. By getting in touch with other women who have built businesses in similar fields, Alpine Packaging has benefited enormously from their advice, determination, and inspiration to persevere in a traditionally male-dominated environment.
And unlike some other business organizations, the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council emphasizes sharing knowledge and promoting camaraderie over fueling competition amongst members. As women in business–especially those in manufacturing–we all have the same issues. WBENC provides the opportunity to collaborate and a platform for members to share production problems and solutions in a relaxed atmosphere.
The organization also supports members to join geographical communities through which local business owners can reach out to each other. The Pittsburgh community specifically has many women’s business advocates in banks, corporations, and even in local government. Many of the communities offer networking events to connect women business owners and strengthen the organization as a whole. They even sponsor newsletters with useful advice and recognition of member accomplishments.
From the networking opportunities to the sense of community, the WBENC has been a great supporter of Alpine Packing and we are proud to be part of the WBE group. We are big supporters of any other women business owners who are looking to make connections with others in their region and industry!
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