The Business Development group has had innumerable successes. Our first meeting was held on September 23, 2010 with Nicholas Zaldistani, Venture Capitalist as the speaker. We generally met on the third Thursday of the month from 6:30p to 10p. Food and beverages were provided, networking time was provided, and we brought in a different speaker each time to address a different topic each time and do one on one coaching.
We started out as a networking group to help people make the connections they needed to make in order to further their economic development and as an educational source for our participants to shape their business to withstand the buffetting of the unseen economic forces. After about a year and a half we began to realize that the participants were changing. They had shifted and changed from the unemployed looking for work to people that now had their own business or were in the process of starting a business and needing support and the sharing of information. We changed from meeting once a month at night to meeting once a week at teatime in a coffee shop.
In the beginning we had 35 participants. The meetings sorted themselves out to a comfortable number between 15 and 25. As their needs were met they left; we had 2 people find employment through their connections in the group, 5 people secured clients, 10 people found services they needed within the group, 1 person found a husband, 4 people founded substantial and innovative corporations and are either funded or near funding at this moment.
We meet every Thursday afternoon. Business incubation is a matter of life and death to new business without it 80% of all businesses fail in the first year and 80% of the remaining fail in the next three years. We have seen first hand a very low drop out or failure rate within our group.