I’ve spoken many times about the power that actively participating in a strong network of like-minded female entrepreneurs can deliver, and I’m about to get another reinforcement of that this week at DWEN — Dell’s annual conference for female entrepreneurs.
I was fortunate to be invited to attend my first DWEN conference in India in 2012 and it quite literally changed my world. I met women who ran all kinds of businesses from countries all over the globe. And, I learned so much from the stories they shared, not only during the presentations, but equally from the social event conversations that bubbled and fizzed like the champagne that often accompanied them!
The 2013 DWEN conference was held in Istanbul, and after such an amazing time in India, I couldn’t pack my bags fast enough. Once again the conference delivered above and beyond on every expectation. It gave me the chance to renew the friendships I’d made the year before and maintained over social media; the chance to meet new people and to enjoy the company of the great group of Australian women who also made the long trip to Turkey.
Last year’s conference also saw the launch of the Pay It Forward Initiative, which called on each of us in attendance to commit to doing something positive to impact on the lives of at least 10 other women or girls. The goal was that they would then take on the same commitment. The Australian contingent got together on our return and decided that part of our Pay It Forward would be to facilitate the introduction of Girl Up — a program of the UN Foundation — to Australia.
Contacts made at DWEN facilitated this occurring (more about that in an upcoming post) and my daughter Sascha and her friends got their Girl Up club up and running earlier this year. As a result, Sascha has been invited to join me at this year’s DWEN conference which kicks off in Austin Texas on June 1st.
The theme this year is ‘Bold Beginnings, Brave Futures’ and I’m so excited to be talking about the APHS story in a panel session called Running Your Next Venture: How to Start & Succeed with a Second Business.
For me, an event like DWEN provides an important recharge of my entrepreneurial battery. I invariably come away bursting with ideas and enthusiasm, encouraged and uplifted by the stories I’ve heard and the friendships I’ve made. This year it will be even more special because Sascha will be with me and I can’t wait to see her reaction to this supercharged boost of entrepreneurial energy.