Start your own network

Why should you become a WiRE Network Leader?Netwoking

  • To promote your business
  • To help your community
  • To make some fantastic contacts
  • It’s fun and enjoyable
  • To put your business at the heart of the local WiRE Network
  • To meet interesting people
  • To help your local rural economy
  • To associate your business with the strong WiRE brand
  • To develop your confidence
  • To enhance your profile in the community
  • To help other women in business
  • To develop your leadership skills
  • To use your skills & experience
  • FREE membership while you are running network meetings

Skills & attributes needed by a WiRE Network Leader

  • A WiRE member – so that you understand the benefits of being part of the WiRE network.
  • Self Employed – as a business woman yourself you will be able to understand the needs and issues of other self-employed rural women.
  • Time –  volunteer Network Leaders generally spend between 7-14 hours per month on the networks plus attending the network meeting.
  • Good organisational skills – You will be juggling the running of the network as well as running your business; there is the website to update, speakers and venues to organise, emails to send, a mailing list of contacts to maintain and enquiries to deal with.  Are you able to make time for this extra work and still be able to run the network and your business to a high standard?
  • Ability to facilitate groups – Every meeting will need facilitating. The meeting needs to be kept to time and managed to ensure that the group makes the best opportunity of meeting up. Our networks have introductions, speakers, announcements, discussions and other promotional and networking activities.
  • Good understanding of networking – Many rural women lack confidence or are new to networking, you need to have a clear understanding of the aims of the group and the benefits of networking. You will need to be able to explain the benefits of networking and devise ways of encouraging the group to use each other’s products and services, collaborate, share information and recommend each other’s businesses.
  • Ability to work with mixed groups – Rural women can join WiRE whether they are just thinking about a business idea or well established in business.  They run diverse businesses which contribute to the successful dynamics of the WiRE network. This means you will need to devise a meeting programme or meeting formats that can benefit a mixed group.
  • Confidence with email, web, and some Social Media. We believe in using technology to our best advantage to save time, enable us to reach more people and keep costs down.
  • Enjoys meeting people – An enjoyment and interest in people is of course vital. If this is already part of your business, fitting the promotion and running of a WiRE network into your life will be made easier.   When you start a new network your will need to attract lots of new people to it, to keep the network vibrant and effective.
  • Good communicator – Communication is the life blood of a network.  You will need to ensure the website is regularly updated with information when meetings are taking place, what happened at the last meeting, news and information. You will use the website and emails to convey the vibrancy and effectiveness and quality of the network meetings to encourage more rural business women to get involved!
  • Self-motivated – Although WiRE is here to offer the framework, support, advice, ideas, mentoring, information and resources to Network Leaders, unfortunately that is all we can do. It is up to the Network Leader to take the network forward and make it happen.
  • Resourceful – All Local WiRE networks need to be sustainable and self-funding as there is no funding available. This can be challenging so having a good network of contacts, being able to think out of the box or knowing someone who can, would be an advantage.
  • Dedicated and enthusiastic – This is a voluntary role so it is important that you really believe in WiRE, the importance of what we do and very importantly enjoy it! You will be seen as our local representative. A Local WiRE network and its members have the opportunity to benefit by being part of WiRE and the reputation that we have built.

Our expectations

You will be responsible for growing and promoting your WiRE network group locally. All WiRE Networks must have WiRE in the name of the group, use the WiRE logo and adhere to the WiRE Brand Guidelines. WiRE will provide all the promotional material needed such as leaflets, posters and business cards.

WiRE can advise on how best to go about promoting WiRE and finding new members.  But it is the WiRE Network Leader and the members of the group who need to make it happen.

It is important that meeting attendees understand that WiRE Local Networks are an integral part of WiRE and their Local WiRE Network is one of the benefits of membership. Everyone who attends the meetings needs to join WiRE as an individual and they will receive all the other benefits of being a WiRE member.  Guests may attend 2 meetings before being required to join. Membership is administered through head office and the WiRE website (www.wireuk.org).  All attendees must complete the attendance list with contact details of visitors and those interested in joining. The attendance list must be sent to WiRE after each meeting. WiRE will contact all potential members with details of Member benefits and how to join.

Network Leaders are also responsible for the finances of the network.

We expect our Network Leaders to share the responsibilities of running the network with other members of the group as this helps the sustainability of the group.

Network Leaders are expected to lead the group for at least 12 months, although some Network leaders stay longer because they are enjoying it so much, we think a year is a good length of time.  However, it is hoped that by the time you step down there will be someone else to take over. We can give you lots of help and advice on succession when the time comes but it’s worth bearing this in mind from the beginning.

How to apply

Just contact Fiona or Polly fiona@wireuk.org polly@wireuk.org or call 01952 815338 for an informal chat