Why should you join West Suburban Women Entrepreneurs?

Imagine having a whole roomful of friends who really get what it’s like to run a business. The late nights. The learning curves. The constant balancing act between our personal lives and our company’s needs.

There’s nothing like having an active network of women who are out there every day, facing the challenges and making it happen. Women who will be there for you whenever you need them. That’s the WSWE experience.

Monthly breakfast meetings: a great big serving of support

Throughout the year we host 10 morning meetings at convenient locations in the west suburbs. Members promote their offerings and perfect their business pitches by sharing a 30-second message with the group. Breakfast and networking are followed by a business session that may include an expert speaker, a panel discussion or a mastermind-style conversation focused on a specific issue. It’s a lively, fun session that feeds your business and your soul.

“WSWE is a great source of encouragement. If I’m going crazy trying to solve a particular problem, I can bring it to the group and get a broad spectrum of insight.” – Tracy Jensen, Frizz Marketing, Lombard

Insight sessions: a power hour of free (and invaluable) advice

WSWE members can design and host their own open discussions, focusing on any aspect of their working lives where they need help. Looking to improve cash flow, sales, or employee engagement? Wondering how to super-charge that tired old marketing strategy? This custom conversation will deliver a wealth of ideas and solutions that flow from the shared expertise of the group.

“I was thinking about starting an entirely new business, quite different from my current one. Doing an Insight Session gave me a chance to share my business model with a friendly yet objective audience. It’s like having your own committee for success.” – Betsey O’Brien, Pen & Hand, Oak Park

Friendship and encouragement: the boost we all need

The warmth and support WSWE women share so freely with one another is what keeps us coming back. Together, we help one another navigate the tough times and celebrate the rewards. Our success grows with the friendships we form and the insights and perspectives we offer along the way.

“There was a time I thought I’d have to give up and go back to a regular job. These ladies surrounded me with love and kept me going. I can’t say enough about what WSWE has done for me as a business owner and a working woman.”  – Aileen Gilpin, AGilpin Consultants, La Grange

Mentoring and community: the chance to pay it forward

Each year we select a woman who has recently launched her own enterprise as our WSWE Prism Scholar. She receives a free annual membership and a full year of one-on-one mentoring sessions with the WSWE members of her choice. It’s our way of helping new women entrepreneurs move forward with confidence.

In addition to PRISM, each holiday season we choose a local charity to support with cash and other tangible gifts. Past charities include Dress for Success and Child Link.

“I loved being a PRISM Scholar. I feel it helped me get past that ‘Help! How do I do this?’ stage that we all go through.” – Su Jang, New Rose Catering, Oak Park

Business tools and perks: fueling your success

We want every WSWE woman to shine. That’s why we share our members’ milestones and triumphs on Facebook … display their business cards at every meeting … and showcase them in our online member directory. We also give them lovely gifts like the free professional headshots taken at a recent meeting. It’s all about promoting the growth and advancement of each WSWE member.

“As an entrepreneur who has been running a successful business for the past 18 years, I can honestly state that the women of WSWE have been and continue to be a large part of my success. Whether it is finding new clients, setting our price for services, dealing with slow-paying clients, juggling work and family life, whatever the issue, the women of WSWE will have ideas and suggestions to help you find solutions and they will always have your back. We celebrate each other’s success stories and we help each other navigate the sometimes-rocky road that woman entrepreneurs travel. Members are from various backgrounds and work in a variety of industries, but we all share one common trait – the passion to run our own businesses. I am proud to be one of the original members and look forward to new like-minded women joining our organization.” – Charlotte Perry, Owner, Off-Site Office Assistance, Naperville