Over the last few months I have done two very new things – blog here and attended a lot of networking events due to starting a new venture.
Starting with the business networking events. In the UK, one can attend more than one business networking event a day if they want as there are so many of them! For women, for black women/men, gay and lesbian, young, you name it
there will be a network. A few weeks ago, I suddenly had a revelation, there was something very unique about the network events for blacks (at least the ones I had attended). The only outcome from those events was advice on how to start your business, offer of help to write business plans, grant information but no investors. There was a lot of talking and people were very friendly but at the end of the evening that was not helpful to anyone that attended. I felt there was a slight dumbing down of the attendees in one of them. I thought, this is the recession so hence no money. Here I found no help in taking my business to a certain level, not just money but links that would prove to be immensely useful.The services offered at these events are great but they can be also accessed so easily online, on the variety of business links that exist in the UK . I am just sure there are a lot of black businesses that have gone past that level.
On to the other networks. All other types of events I have been to have had investors looking for good businesses to invest in, fantastic links that have led to me saving a lot of time and money or in one last week the group actively referred each others services all week and met up weekly . At least someone in the group may get business from that activity. The issue is at these events that seemed to be of a higher level and achieving results, there were hardly any black women/men there. At the end of the day there was more call to action that would help the attendees at these events.
Why do I link the networking event and the blogging? Well, that is because the revelation was twofold. I also then realised that the posts on here that called for any action appeared to be the ones with less comments and feedback. There may be various reasons why that is but Saran’s post about an African magazine, my posts regarding an African designer in the UK and that of how Africans in the Diaspora could help African businesses in the Diaspora, Teddy’s post on VIA are examples. Maybe people just acted and made no comments so I may be very wrong here! Which would be great!
What depresses me is I feel that we are still talking a lot and unlike other racial/cultural groups we are not acting enough.
It would be interesting to know your thoughts about this or maybe this may be just another call to action piece that is not that interesting……