A Guide to Networking in Columbia
Ahhh networking - a subject that either makes you start to sweat immediately or turns you into the heart eyes emoji! Amanda, the owner of The Hatchery, loves networking and is often asked how she has gained such a strong network of support herself.
Here’s a list of some of the opportunities we’ve personally loved for networking. Know of any others? Shoot us an email at email@example.com and we’ll add it to our list!
Business Network International (BNI)
Normally this group is referred to as BNI and Columbia is home to five separate chapters! Each group is made up of business owners whose goal is to network, develop meaningful relationships with one another, and in turn, pass meaningful referrals to one another.
It is completely free to visit twice and you’ll learn that each chapter only allows one person to fill a space for their specific industry. This means that there is only one bookkeeper, real estate agent, sandwich shop owner, etc. per group
If you’re interested in visiting, Amanda’s group meets each Tuesday morning at The Champagne Ballroom. They network from 7:45 - 8:00am and the meeting is from 8:00AM - 9:30AM. You'll have 50 seconds to share information about yourself and pass around your business cards! Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
1 Million Cups
This is another weekly meeting and it is held at Redi (500 East Walnut Street, Suite 102, Columbia, Missouri 65201). This event is completely free and each week different businesses present about who they are, what they do, and ask for feedback on how to grow, scale, or even to just get started! This is a great opportunity to learn about what local businesses are available in our area, meet new people, and get your own pitch scheduled to find the feedback you’ve been needing. To present you must be a business who has been operating for five years or less.
Women’s Network Luncheon
Our local Women’s Network is a division of our local Chamber of Commerce. Their mission is to connect, empower and engage members through leadership development, educational opportunities and innovative outreach. Each month they coordinate an informative Women’s Network luncheon on specific topics pertaining to business, personal development, health, and more. This is a great opportunity to learn from their speakers as well as to meet new local professionals! You do not have to be a member of the chamber to attend these luncheons - we are members of the chamber and would love to have you as our guest.
Emerging Professionals in Columbia (EPIC)
EPIC is another group associated with our local Chamber of Commerce - but you do not need to be a member of the chamber to be involved! The group is geared towards professionals ages 22-40 who want to become more involved in local business, meet new people and develop their leadership skills. They host program events, professional development luncheons and social mixers.
Executive Connections + Creative Connections
These groups are run by our sponsors at The Connection Exchange. In addition to their business services, The Connection Exchange organizes two networking groups for both entrepreneurs and creatives.
Executive Connections : The mission of the Executive Connections Group is to foster a community of diverse, like-minded business executives to connect, build friendships and to promote the growth of business.
Creative Connections: This is Columbia’s newest creative community. They aim to bring together like-minded creative individuals monthly to share ideas and hopefully find new collaborations!
Rotary isn’t for those specifically looking to grow their business, but for those looking for a way to give back to the community. There are 5 Rotary groups in town and they all are working towards a higher purpose; making a difference in our own community and around the world. Each week we have a speaker from the area to learn more about Columbia and local organizations. Each month they do a service project here in the community.