She.space explore a modern alternative to business networking for talented and creative Surrey women
PUBLISHED: 06:36 23 May 2017 | UPDATED: 06:36 23 May 2017
Fed up of awkward intros, bad coffee and pinstripes, Guildford-based founders of she.space, Liana Wilson-Frickers and Sorcha Egan, are turning business on its head with a new breed of networking for women
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine May 2017
Tell us a bit about yourselves – what makes you both tick?
SE: Liana is adventurous and fun-loving, with a natural abundance of energy. Always active and on the hunt for new opportunities. She is enthusiastic about living life according to her own inner values yet very open-minded and flexible. She gets bored of detail really quickly.
LWF: Sorcha is a self-assured creative thinker, loves taking risks and gets very excited about new ideas and projects. She’s not so good with patience but is the rationalist of the two of us and very observant. Liana is adventurous and fun-loving, with a natural abundance of energy. Both of us are ‘doers’ and entirely focused on getting things done and are feminists of the highest order!
What is the ethos behind she.space?
SE: We are aiming for a positive and inclusive culture that is focused on sharing, not taking. All of our relationships are open, honest and transparent. We’re humble (with the occasional humble brag). We are adventurous, creative and open-minded, with a dogged focus on growth and learning for all. We want all of our activities to be drenched in fun and humour.
There are hundreds of networking groups in Surrey, how is yours different?
LWF: We are a learning network – all events have an experiential learning element, whether that’s learning how to put together a mood board at a creative workshop or how you can better use social media at a learning brunch. We believe that technology will help with the challenges that our members face on a day-to-day basis, so our own 25 plus years of experience in digital marketing plays an important role in prioritising digital learning for our members.
SE: Positive results are based on the depth of the relationships within the network – we are looking for good quality partnerships, mentorships and productive friendships. Everything we do is focused on raising the profiles of our female members’ businesses. All of our business relationships are sourced from within the network.
What have you learned since setting up she.space in September?
SE: You can’t force good-quality relationships. Our success cannot be based on immediate results and has to be built over time, organically. Which can be frustrating when you know you’re onto something really special
What tips would you give women starting out in business?
LFW: Don’t spend weeks trying to finesse your business plan. It’s chicken and egg and the chicken is – more than likely – going to turn into a duck after a few rounds in action. Just get out there with your core product and keep things really simple. Details change rapidly and your business plan has to grow with you.
What is the single most important thing to consider when starting out on your own?
Both: Cash flow.
What sort of women join she.space?
SE: Any women in the start-up ecosystem, as well as any women who are feeling isolated in their careers and in need of peer support/learning.
How can people get the most out of networking?
LFW: The more involved you are in the network, the more you’ll get out of it. You have to be actively involved in order to create and make the most out of the members available.
What is your secret to making useful connections?
SE: Liana! More networked than the Queen. Her people love her.
• For more information on how to become a she.space member, visit she.space or call 07747 876747.
Jolly Lolly Day Out
Wednesday May 31, 10am to 4pm
The next she.space event will see Lickalix and TantrumXYZ pitch up at The Medicine Garden in Cobham, for a free day of family fun. Adults can chillax and chat while the kids enjoy a host of activities including yoga with SuperYogis, hands-on science fun with Little Labcoats, a live theatrical performance by Dazzle & Fizz parties, workshops and more, plus a delicious selection of free Lickalix’s organic, no nasties and dairy-free ice lollies – with tasty cocktail versions for the adults!