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Women in business networking support

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Learn. Grow. Achieve.

That’s the aim of the Rainy River District Business Women’s Network, which formed at the beginning of the year with a goal to provide a forum for business women to share ideas and information, develop and use contacts for moral support and advice, and provide assistance whenever possible.

It’s hosting an informational wine and cheese Thursday, June 11 from 7-10 p.m. at Emidio’s Garden Restaurant in Fort Frances to let people know who they are and what they’re all about.

They’re hoping to have 75 people come out.

“We hope that the women that will come will be interested enough to become members,” noted chairperson Janis Lesko, adding the group currently has 13 members.

More than 130 invitations have been sent out to women involved in business in Rainy River District and International Falls.

While it’s geared toward entrepreneurs, the group wants to include as many people as possible. Those who aren’t entrepreneurs can become associate members, and take advantage of the seminars and workshops.

“I think anybody who joins the organization is going to gain. It’s a win-win situation,” noted first vice-chair Betsy Zub.

“I think women feel the need to share [their emotions and feelings] more than men do,” she added. “And that’s the good thing about our group. It’s totally non-threatening.”

“We want this to be a positive influence in our community,” agreed Lesko.

The initial start-up is being financed by the Rainy River Future Development Corp. but Lesko noted they would be a self-sustaining, non-profit organization.

“I think there are more and more women in business every year,” added Zub, noting they often run into the same problems and share the same fears.

“The fear of failing I think is stronger in women than it is in men,” Lesko added.

But the group isn’t just for those new to the business world.

“For us, personally, we really can gain a lot of knowledge from people who have been in business for a long period of time,” said secretary Cindy Glavish.

At its kick-off this September, the network will bring in a guest speaker. Other events include trade shows, a Christmas gala, a golf tournament, a fashion show, monthly newsletters, and dinner meetings.

“We’ve got lots of ladies interested in learning how to play the stock market,” Lesko said, noting they’re open to ideas and suggestions on what members would like to see.

“It’s social to a point but this is to learn and grow, and have a positive effect on the community,” she stressed.

Anyone interested in learning more can phone Lesko (274-1074) or Glavish (274-1623), or attend tomorrow’s wine and cheese gathering.

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