24th February 2016
Every Wednesday JHPR spotlight a woman doing amazing things within her business field. As champions of startups and small business owners we will be selecting a wonder woman to profile each week.
Our Wednesday Wonder Woman is 50 year old Jacqueline Rogers, founder of The Athena Network, one of the UK’s leading business communities for female executives and entrepreneurs. The North London based business woman has grown the network to comprise of over 2600 UK-based members across 30 regional territories. Founded in the UK in 2005, The Athena Network expanded into the Asia-Pacific in 2011, providing members with international collaboration opportunities and a rapidly growing online community where women can interact and share information, skills and business contacts.
What is your business?
The Athena Network – The leading international networking, training and development business club for female executives and entrepreneurs
We grow our network and the connections by franchising the business to women committed to the growth of female executives and entrepreneurs
How long has your business been trading?
11 years trading, celebrating our 10th Anniversary this year
What inspired you to start your business?
When I left my corporate role I could not find what I was looking for from networking. The Athena Network was created out of frustration and not finding what I was looking for and recognising where the gaps were in the groups that I had been attending.
What has been your greatest business achievement?
Systematizing the process so that other female entrepreneurs can be of service to female executives and entrepreneurs. Consistently working on making the process as simple and straightforward to follow and being committed to the ongoing development of the organisation.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced along your business journey?
Starting the business with a partner and taking on her previous business debt. Debilitating in the early years and a ‘rookie’ mistake.
How is your business contributing to your community or society?
We have created a community of female executives and entrepreneurs and provide our membership with opportunities to make strategic connections with professionals in a vast range of industry sectors. The personal support that our membership receive cannot be understated.
As an organisation we encourage our membership to build relationships first so that the business follows. We inspire our membership to support each other.
In addition we are committed to training our membership through workshops, training courses and online training.
Entrepreneurship can be lonely, we have created a safe container for female entrepreneurs to connect, collaborate and inspire each other.
How has media coverage helped to raise your profile?
We use social media predominantly and this has meant that we are able to connect with our members nationally and globally.
Best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given?
Systematize your business; create your business as if you were going to sell it so that the process can be referenced in the Operations Manual. Our Operations Manual is the jewel in the crown of The Athena Network. Many have attempted to replicate what we do but without the ‘know how’ and the ‘why’ behind our agenda and processes it will fail to deliver. What cannot be copied is the ‘heart and soul’ of our organisation.
“We have no patent on anything we do and anything we do can be copied by anyone else. But you can’t copy the heart and the soul and the conscience of the company.” ~ Howard Schultz
Where is your product or service available?
Our service is available globally; we are based predominantly in the UK and have groups in Singapore.
Business website and social media handles.
Twitter JR: @networkbarefoot
Facebook JR: https://www.facebook.com/jacquelineybrogers
Twitter Athena: @athenanetwork
Facebook Athena: https://www.facebook.com/AthenaNetworkInternational/
If you know a wonder woman that you would like to nominate be sure to send us an email to email@example.com along with her details and why you think she should be celebrated or contact us via our twitter page @JessicaHuiePR.
Don’t forget to hashtag #JHPRWWW !