I’ve got an opportunity to cover an interesting event on March 5. It is ubizo. I found out about it somehow on the internet back in November 2012 and then contacted Lisa Princic, the organizer, asking if I could report what will be happening there for NetworkingInVan.
What is ubizo? What will be happening there that we shouldn’t miss?
Lisa: ubizo is a business development think-tank for locally owned businesses and social entrepreneurs. It is important to attend because you will have a day of working on your business with experienced mentors and like-minded entrepreneurs who are making a big impact.
At the event we will roll up our sleeves to tackle the pressing business challenges in highly interactive small groups.
Peer learning is really valuable. That is looking at your own business through the eyes of another business that has a similar model or a strategic challenge. It allows you to find solutions for your own business as well as develop connections with other entrepreneurs – and that is what I’ve actually seen in the past years at ubizo. New partnerships and business relationships were formed after the event.
I am anticipating really good discussions and insights emerging throughout the event…
Lisa: Yes, there will be light bulb moments where you realize what direction you want to go or how to solve your current challenge. We have 8 business mentors who will facilitate discussions around case studies while engaging attendees participate actively.
Participants will also have access to our business mentors at the end of the day where they will present a workshop in their fields of expertise.
At ubizo there will be 9 businesses (case studies) presenting their challenges to audience and business mentors. Please tell me about the criteria for choosing these businesses as case studies.
Lisa: The businesses were chosen by a number of criteria. First of all, by type of business – industry, b2b or b2c – to make sure there is a good mix of case studies. We also looked at strategic challenges they face – how relevant their challenges are to entrepreneurs who will be attending the event. The third criterion was leadership, meaning how committed and passionate business owners are, how much success they had in the past and how they serve our community through their businesses.
There will be 2 speakers (Lauren Bacon and RozeMerie Cuevas from Jacqueline Conoir) opening the event in the morning. What will they share?
Lisa: Our speakers are seasoned entrepreneurs who have been in business for many years and have gone through a number of evolutions. They will be sharing their entrepreneurial journeys: openly telling how it was for them and how they got through challenges. It is critical to hear not only how successful experienced entrepreneurs are but also how they got through tough times.
To close our interview, I wonder if you have any suggestions for NetworkingInVan readers on how to amplify their networking opportunities during events like ubizo?
Lisa: I recommend having a clear idea of what you want to get from the event. Maybe you need to find help in a certain area. Maybe you need to develop new business relationships. Maybe you want to showcase your expertise. Set the intention of what you need and what you want.