Submitted by Linda Ockwell-Jenner on
The Small Business Community Network (SBCN) 2003-2018
The Small Business Community Network (SBCN) has definitely made a social impact locally and globally.
When just two of us, Dave Ockwell-Jenner and myself decided to start a business networking organization almost 15 years ago we knew that the words "Small" and Community" had to be part of the name we chose.
In those days "Small" meant nothing, no one wanted to play with businesses who were just starting out, or had a small revenue.
The word "Community" had not been used much, if any, in the business networking world.
Our First Meeting Location Zehrs Community Room
In 2003 Zehrs offered their Community Room for free, all we had to do to host our events there in 2003 was spend at least $40 on food, coffee, gift cards for the door prize.
Here is a photo of how the room was set up in those early days. For a year we did not charge anyone to attend, we were still working on how we could assist the attendees.
We came up with the idea of inviting our attendees, in those days quite small, to offer a presentation at the monthly events, and this was very popular.
Around 2009 the local Waterloo Region Small Business Centre asked us to partner with them for some events, and eventually invited us to host our monthly networking events at their location, Kitchener City Hall, which is an amazing place to host our events.
Building our now very large, community of business owners, entrepreneurs, start-ups, has been and still is a joy. The impact we have made on the world of networking face to face and online has been phenomenal.
TELUS became our corporate sponsors, for which we are forever grateful, and here is a photo of Suzanne Trusdale, VP Small Business TELUS, speaking at one of our MarketPlace Conferences.
We now have SBCN Community Sponsors, once again for which we are very grateful https://www.sbcncanada.org/sponsors
Check out our volunteer team members: https://www.sbcncanada.org/about/team
We have changed the way people think about business networking and we have led the way where social networking is concerned, how the two, business and social networking partner well. We have been hosting SBCN Summer Socials & SBCN Christmas Socials now for the past 9 years, here is a photo of the winners of the now famous SBCN Quiz with their prizes.
We were the first networking organization to showcase our members content on the Home Page of our website. Offering them the chance to grow their online presence via our website and our many social media platforms gave them an opportunity that no one else was offering at that time.
The SBCN was the first networking organization to offer our Members the chance to chat via the SBCN Small Biz Podcast. The podcast is showcased on the SBCN website and of course iTunes, once again offering our members, guests and sponsors the chance to showcase their organization.
Videos are a must now, and once again we were before our time offering our members the chance to showcase themselves via SBCN Videos, in person, at our events and many other ways.
Mentoring, something that was not common until the past few years. The SBCN knew that by mentoring our members we would be able to assist them even more.
The SBCN came up with the very first Social Networking event, SBCN Connect, a name now being used a lot, where members and guests were invited to completely FREE events to get to know each other in a more relaxed setting.
We have hosted conferences, business showcase events, (which most organizations used to call Trade Shows but soon caught on to the idea Showcase sounds better).
All of the above are benefits of being a Member of the Small Business Community Network (SBCN) plus many more benefits. No extra charge on top of the very affordable $150.00 for 1 Years Membership.
There are many networking opportunities out there now compared to 15 years ago and we support them as much as possible. Every organization has a place, each one *should* offer different benefits and experiences.
The SBCN does stand out from the crowd, our consistency, affordability, and of course our amazing events are often likened to a "club" which people want to be a part of. Our community of members, guests, sponsors, community partners has grown, but we have never forgotten we are here for YOU, it's not about us.
Why not contact me, Linda Ockwell-Jenner, to find out more, firstname.lastname@example.org
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