Coinciding with International Women’s day in mid-March, a passionate set of female leaders got the chance to share triumphs, lessons, advice, resources and a drink during a virtual networking session hosted by regional business support organizations. The well-attended event attracted near three dozen women business leaders from all areas of industry, eager to support one another and discover what the regional ecosystem has to offer.

“There is a vibrant community of female founders in the area eager to support one another,” said Fabiola Moreno, co-creator of the event representing Binghamton University’s Office of Entrepreneurship. “The main goal of the ‘Women’s Networking Happy Hour’ was to connect this community as well as showcase resources able to support their ventures.”

Women from Binghamton University, The Koffman Incubator, The Small Business Development Center, and SUNY Broome engaged in discussions on what free programs, incentives, mentors and other resources were available to bolster business growth. Conversations branched out to discuss what businesses participants were working on, what areas of support were needed and the importance of a diverse business ecosystem in the area.

The event wasn’t relegated to only business talk – the group engaged in activities to spur connection and were encouraged to stir up a purple drink for the occasion ( of which the most creative won prizes) and some lucky participants received gift cards from local women-led businesses such as Car MAIDS, Up the Creek Ladies Consignment, and De Colores Cookies y Mas.  

“This event showcased the importance of engaged and inspired business leaders. We want to emphasize that investing in Women and Minority-owned businesses means investing in a more equitable society,” says Moreno.

The growing group has been freshly named “POP” or, Power of the Pack, and has sights set on recurring events of the same theme – connecting and empowering regional women in business.

Faith Vavra, an attendee, shares what the event meant to her: “So often women small business owners are so busy balancing their businesses with their personal lives. It feels amazing to connect with a group of like-minded women at all stages of developing their businesses so that we can learn from each other.”