By: Camryn Pischke (Loyola Junior), Paige Parker (Loyola Sophomore), and Brooke Craig (Loyola Senior)
The Rogers Park Circle of “Women Belong” is hosting Zoom events for all women (by birth or identity) to come together and educate one another about owning and cultivating their businesses.
Women Belong is giving innovative female business owners the opportunity to share their talents and aspirations with other women from Rogers Park and Edgewater to create an inclusive environment that inspires creativity and passion.
In 2017, the nationwide Women Belong organization was created by Dorothy Rosen and Kate Alpert in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood.
Today, Women Belong has 20 Circles coast-to-coast across the US and into Canada and hosts over 200 members.
Every group across the nation is called a “Circle.” These Circles are run by a team of three group members. Each year, there is a transfer of the leadership team so members can practice their business skills and experience new ones.
Katie Alpert, founder of Women Belong, said, “Women Belong is all about the culture of practicing, building, and honing our business skills.”
Each month every Circle comes together on Zoom to share their elevator pitch, work on referral sharing, and showcase a member spotlight or a workshop. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of events were held in person.
Member spotlights are designed so that each woman can share her business and specifically present her area of expertise.
“There is always something to learn by going through the process of preparing a talk, speaking, and receiving feedback from the audience,” Alpert said.
To become involved with Women Belong, prospective business owners can attend as guests two times per circle, but after that, one would have to pay for a membership.
There are three memberships available: compass, circle, and core levels. The compass level is online only. Through each level of membership, participants are granted more opportunities to be involved. At the core level, members are able to spotlight and market their business through multiple means.
Members of Women Belong are also able to attend Seeds for Growth, monthly speaker webinars. They feature an hour-long webinar that focuses on professionalism or personal development. Each webinar touches on business-building topics such as marketing, goal setting, sales, legal, and financial plans.
“Another favorite is Connections, Women Belong’s big progressive networking event. It’s a fast-paced fun event using breakout rooms for participants to quickly connect with many other businesswomen from all over the country and the world,” Alpert said.
Now more than ever, it is imperative for women to support other women through all of their endeavors. In this post-pandemic society where businesses have come and gone with each season, Women Belong has given the members of our community the education and resources they need to open their dream business successfully.
Katie Ray, a Chiropractor at New Day and passionate member of Women Belong, said, “The meetings are nourishing for my soul! I have made many life-long connections through my membership in the group, and would recommend it to anyone.”