It’s been some time since Angels Online gave up its website but its web-related name stuck, and with a database of over 1,000 women in Harare, it’s going strong.
Started by Harare News’ own sales executive Di Bentley after the tragic death of her daughter Chelsea four years ago, the idea behind Angels Online is to motivate and inspire women
“I wanted to do something in Chelsea’s memory, so I bought a website and started having these lunches for women to network with women so that they could see what other women are doing,” explains Bentley.
Bentley dropped the website when it got too expensive to run, but over the four years the number of people on her books has grown. All of them are women who are involved in making things happen – whether it is business, often from home, or other income generation, perhaps, for example, for charity. Membership is free but to attend a lunch costs about $25. This includes a meal, the opportunity to listen to some motivational speakers and, most importantly, to meet other women.
The lunches are held every two to three months, with the last taking place at Alo Alo in Arundel Village. 90 women turned up for that delicious lunch, with owner Leslie Orford and her daughter going to a lot of trouble to make it a success. Attendees were treated to four excellent speakers including a life coach. Business cards and flyers were dished out by participants over lunch and networking was the name of the game.
“I send an email to everyone on my database and then they are welcome to bring friends – first come, first served,” encourages Bentley. When you arrive, you write down your name and email and say what you do. Bentley uses this information after the event to try to link people. So even if you haven’t connected over the lunch, the opportunity to meet the right people is still there. “It’s all about building confidence, saying ‘You can do this!’” says Bentley.
The next lunch is on 6 June at The Bistro. Numbers are limited. Call Di Bentley to book in advance: 0772 252 762 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you part of a networking group? Want to tell Harare about it, let us know: email@example.com.