South Asian women in Vancouver and surrounding communities are facing significant changes in the world of business. They are discovering networking with other South Asian women to be one of the most valuable marketing tools for strengthening business contacts and connections.
Be Your Own Best Friend (BYOBF) Network is the first professional business network for South Asian professional women in Vancouver. It was co-founded by Sukhi Ghuman and Manpreet Dhillon who met while volunteering their time as directors of the non-profit Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration Society – now the largest bhangra festival in North America.
Ghuman is a former television host, a professional photographer and the marketing and events coordinator with the University of British Columbia. Dhillon has a master’s degree in Organizational Management and is the founder and owner of Essence Coaching. They saw the need to create a platform for professional South Asian women to come together to network and support one another.
“BYOBF Network is geared towards women in home-based businesses, in offices, entrepreneurs, mothers, and those exploring new opportunities,” Ghuman explains. “This is an amazing communication tool that helps one increase revenue by providing opportunities to meet and sell products, discuss services to new and prospective clients and decrease costs by meeting new suppliers and building partnerships.”
Dhillon is dedicated to helping South Asian females connect, create meaningful relationships, grow and succeed. She says she loves to encourage women to believe in themselves and to know how to succeed in various roles that they might play in their lives.
“BYOBF empowers women and allows us all to grow as we connect. BYOBF not only provides the perfect opportunity to meet like-minded professional South Asian women, but also to share each other’s success,” says Dhillon.
BYOBF plans to host monthly networking events and workshops on various topics in which their members have an interest. While many networking groups concentrate on the number of members, BYOBF is concerned about creating intimate, quality and meaningful relationships.
“The mission of BYOBF is to support, encourage and challenge other women to strive for continued growth and strength through every facet of their lives,” says Dhillon.
The organization will also launch an online community providing their members with a platform to publish blog posts on various topics that include lifestyle, health, money and spirituality.
The official launch and first networking event for BYOBF will be held on March 29. Ghuman is excited to bring this concept to Vancouver business women.
“It is our commitment to be an organization that offers connections, resources and inspiration for Vancouver’s South Asian women,” she says. “Our goal is to help women empower themselves in all aspects of their lives. We have been overwhelmed by community support and are proud to have Jugni Style, Studio Orange Photography + Design, High Society, Neets Treats and Masala Mommas sponsor our first event.”
Manjot Bains, co-founder of the online Jugni Style magazine and one of the sponsors for BYOBF, has been in operation with her business partner, Joti Dhesi, for two years and will be attending the inaugural event.
“I am looking forward to meeting professional women to share work experiences and to meet new friends,” says Bains. “The largest ethnic community in Canada is South Asian and I look forward to helping other women promote and build their business.”
Women may go to the link www.eventbrite.ca/event/2716712761 to register for the first BYOBF Network Night which will take place at Ginger 62 – 1219 Granville St.. The event will start at 8 p.m. After the networking session is over, the doors to Ginger 62 will open for High Society’s monthly bhangra and Bollywood dance party.