RALEIGH A group of women in the Falls River and Bedford neighborhoods in North Raleigh have come together to create a group that will promote their businesses and offer support to each other.
The group will be a big help for women who work from home or operate a small business, said co-founder Tomi Lane. Lane works as a consultant for Pampered Chef, a company that sells kitchen tools and accessories.
Lane works from home, organizing online get-togethers where customers can see items and purchase them. It’s been helpful to earn more income for the family while staying home with her youngest child, Lane said, but it isn’t the easiest way of running a business.
“(One) of the negatives of working at home is that you don’t have the other coworkers and other people around ... you have to go outside the home and make a networking group, so you can get ideas from them,” she said.
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The group will hold its first event, which will feature each of the women’s business, in September, Lane said.
There are 7.8 million women-owned businesses in the United States, according to the National Women’s Business Council, which provides information to the president and Congress.
The majority of those businesses don’t have employees, the Council said. But of those that do, women-owned businesses employ 7.6 million people across the country.
Lane’s group, which has yet to be named, includes women who work for larger companies from home, women who started their own home-based businesses and even women who have had experience starting and running a business, like member Clare Luffman.
Luffman is the co-owner of Gamesturz, a video game store and lounge in the Falls River shopping center. She mentors businesswomen and is part of several networking groups.
“I’m a big believer in networking,” Luffman said. “You really create this community, you’re not just building this business. It’s very inspiring.”
Luffman is active in more than just women-oriented networking groups, so she sees a difference in the way women approach networking with each other.
Women tend to connect more personally, she said, and friendships are formed more easily. The groups also tend to be focused on finding clients and customers, which is one goal of the new Falls River group.
“Most of the women I meet, they just know they are supposed to be an entrepreneur,” Luffman said. “They love their craft ... but have trouble finding clients.”
Luffman said she is looking forward to the group, which will bring her closer to her neighbors and is convenient.