Till a decade ago, nobody could have imagined working from home and attending events online. Times have changed and we are slowly yet eventually moving towards a more digitalized era. With everything moving to the online world, women entrepreneurs' virtual cafes are a platform that provide the ladies with the opportunity to talk, communicate and exchange ideas.
There is only little doubt about the fact that we all live busy lives and often do not have the time to talk and socialize with people. With the pandemic causing people to be confined within the four walls of their houses, a virtual cafe seemed like a perfect idea to break the monotony of lives and help women to come forward and share their ideas.
The virtual cafe for women entrepreneurs is a great initiative that has been taken to recognize women’s rights and the growing need to encourage more women into entrepreneurship. The discussions are real-time and are held over online platforms like zoom, google meet or skype. Such is the beauty of being a global family! A streaming session wherein every woman present introduces herself and shares her opinion about the topic they are discussing. The effort is to nail perfection and deliver feasible results. The sessions are always successful and everyone seems to be satisfied with the ongoing discussions. Women entrepreneurs from diverse and underrepresented groups also attend these sessions.
Let’s dig deeper to have a better understanding of what led to the creation of this virtual cafe for women entrepreneurs.
Also read: Women to Fund Female Entrepreneurs
Women Entrepreneurs' Virtual Cafe: The Idea Behind It
This virtual cafe was a result of a collaboration between IORA and the UN, with their main objective being to empower women entrepreneurs and share lessons that would help them manage during the pandemic.
UN women conducted this out-of-the-box meeting, and the only audience of this cafe were women entrepreneurs and businesses that women led. The goal of creating this entrepreneurs’ business cafe was to better understand the issues that women entrepreneurs face, especially in the rim of this covid-19 pandemic and find ways to solve them. The virtual cafe also served as an excellent opportunity for networking allowing the participants to build support amongst each other.
What could possibly be better than providing women with a platform where they could propel other aspiring business owners to the next level? This cafe witnessed many conversations on what efforts could be taken to mitigate the risks associated with the pandemic and stop it from having an effect on the running of their day-to-day businesses.
The virtual cafe is looked upon as nothing but a virtual lifeline that would help anybody who is in need of it. Women entrepreneurs need these virtual connections to talk about what is going on around them and ask questions that will help each other move forward.
Efforts to stop the global pandemic from further rupturing the worldwide economy have significantly impacted businesses. In almost every state and country, the stay-at-home order and the mandated shutting down of restaurants and bars have throttled the business owners and caused many employees to lose their jobs.
The idea behind the virtual cafe is to connect these women who have lost their jobs to resources and business owners where they can share best practices to mitigate the overall loss and introduce changes that would help them rise back and fight any challenge. To foster an intimate and open conversation about the challenges of the businesses amidst the pandemic has remained the motto of this cafe right from the beginning.
Also read: Female Entrepreneurs' Success Secrets
Different webinars are hosted every week, where new topics that come out of each session are discussed. This online discussion group event has helped to build a positive community of women entrepreneurs.
While one of the sessions held a discussion about the challenges and opportunities that one encounters during effective market research, another session discussed the various steps that could be adopted to make an online business a success. The other sessions also involved discussions about how women can remain motivated and stay focused in their respective businesses even when things get difficult for them.
These live sessions are mostly impromptu, with no prior preparation required. All that women entrepreneurs are required to do is meet and engage with other women with their queries and ideas.
When women are empowered to create their own identity and earn their own living, their standards are not just economically improved, but global poverty is also highly reduced.
Women entrepreneurs' virtual cafes have gained traction from different parts of the world, and people are now taking steps to encourage similar programs. As more women are coming forward to voice their opinions and choices, the number of female entrepreneurs is increasing. As different topics are discussed in every new session, women entrepreneurs gain insight into the day-to-day working of the business.
Also read: 10 Creative Female Entrepreneur Ideas
The government of Canada has supported this project that Queen’s University started. Its mission is not only to empower existing women entrepreneurs through this entrepreneurs’ business cafe but also to inspire aspiring business women by providing them with access to tools, resources, experts, mentors and networks to launch their new businesses or expand the current ones.
The Canadian government is also providing funds to the University to design and deliver more such programs and services to accelerate the growth of women entrepreneurs across the globe. The women entrepreneurs’ virtual cafe has proved to be an excellent source of communication and has been of extreme help to many women who had lost both their jobs and hopes. These programs have not only invested in women, but they have invested in change.
What could get better than women empowering women? It is only during difficult times that you can witness people coming and working together against the odds of life.
Women entrepreneurs' virtual cafes did not just address the problems that hundreds and thousands of business women faced, but they also helped women come up with feasible solutions that saved them their jobs.
What is your take on this? Are you ready to be a part of this virtual cafe for women entrepreneurs?
Also read: Women Entrepreneurs in Tech