Q. What is GroYourBiz?
A. GYB is a membership organization offering peer business advisory boards for women entrepreneurs that want to take their business to the next level. Boards can be set up in both developed and developing countries.
Q. How do we start an Advisory Board in a City, Province and/or State or Global?
A. Normally we start with demand, or word-of-mouth from BMO and/or one of our strategic alliances, and/or community leaders and stakeholders. We then source the “right” Chair and a Managing Director to recruit and lead the Advisory Board. This person is critical to the success in any area. [Note: Licensing Agreements are available in regions to provide opportunities for women business owners.] Once we secure the Managing Director/Chair for the region, we then have a reception to invite potential members, which is normally hosted by BMO and/or a corporation supporting women business owners.
Q. Who attends the reception?
A. Women business owners from diverse sectors, community stakeholders including corporate representatives, government officials (including mayors, councillors, Ministers), members of Chambers of Commerce and Business organizations, professionals in finance, customer brokerage, legal and media sectors.
Q. Who invites the guests to the reception?
A. It is a joint effort by all the Alliances, the Managing Director, the Chair and GroYourBiz HQ.
Q. What is the criterion to join GYB?
A. We ask women business owners 3 questions:
- Are you a women business owner who is ready and committed to take your business to the next level?
- Do you have senior responsibilities for the day to day running of your business?
- Can you set aside three hours every month to focus on growing your business with the support of others who are committed to do the same thing?
Q. How often does the group meet and where?
A. Once a month for 3 hours currently in a BMO board room, that is geographically located in a central location where a GroYourBiz Advisory Board has formed.
Q. How does GYB improve the growth of women entrepreneurs?
A. GYB directly impacts the growth of members’ businesses by offering:
- Peer to peer business advisory initiative
- Member specific program content in a confidential environment
- Cumulative value of skills, expertise and resources
- Structured program with professional facilitation
- Practical solutions to business challenges
- Learning and implementation of success practices
- Advisory Services:
- B2B cross-marketing for new clients and markets
- An alliance of trusted advisors
- An informal Board of Directors — MyBusinessMyBoard™
Q. What about confidentiality?
A. Only non-competing businesses are accepted in each Advisory Board formed. Participants sign a confidentiality contract, with no expiration date.
Q. Who are the “trusted advisors”?
A. GroYourBiz has a relationship with several high-level corporations. Through this network of advisors, we are able to offer members contacts and expert sessions on a variety of topics. Every board has a business banker, an accountant, and a legal member. When possible we include a telecommunications member. Strategic Sponsors and Alliances include:
- BMO Bank of Montreal – Founding and Leading “Partner in Development” www.bmo.com
- BMO Harris Bank – In the USA, we would like to have an Advisory Board in locations where BMO Harris Bank exists. www.bmoharrisbank.com
- TELUS — the premier Canadian Internet Service Provider and the leader of online customer support in the ISP marketplace telus.com
- WBE Canada — a unique network that certifies women business enterprises as diverse suppliers. They offer training and access to corporate supply chains to facilitate business growth wbecanada.org
- OWIT—Organization of Women In International Trade—a global NFP promoting women doing business in international trade through networking and educational opportunities. OWIT.org
- Enterprising Women – the voice for more than 10 million business owners via print, digital, and women of the year awards. enterprisingwomen.com
Q. How many MyBusinessMyBoard™ Advisory Boards currently exist?
A. We currently have 27 Advisory Boards in Canada, as well as in Arizona, Washington State, Florida, and the UK. Our goal is to expand in all regions in Canada and have a GroYourBiz Global virtual board by Fall 2017 for international trade utilizing CETA.
Q. Do any GroYourBiz Advisory Boards exist in developing countries?
A. Not at this time. However, we have had requests from Uganda, Kenya, Ukranine, and Mexico. We have identified professional facilitators in these areas but funding will be required.
Q. What is the cost of membership?
A. For developed countries Standard Membership is $1200/per annum. Members can pay quarterly or annually via cheque, credit cards and/or on-line payments through PayPal are also accepted.
Are you troubled by a business challenge? Not sure who to ask?
We continually hear from entrepreneurs some universal questions, as well as new ones, especially during challenging tough economic times, independent of what country they operate in.
Let us share some of those with you:
- Should I expand my operations or stay the same?
- How do I position my company for growth?
- How do I hire the right team?
- How do I sell to big box retailers?
- Should I diversify? Should I export?
- How can social media help grow my business?
- What questions should a business owner be asking financial institutions when they want access to capital? And what questions will financial institutions be asking business owners?
- What key metrics will assist a business as they grow and how will this assist with financing requests?
Have a question specific to your business?
Submit your inquiry to: info@GroYourBiz.com