Fresh ideas, flexibility, innovation, advocacy, networking, support and fun are the mantras for a new face book group whose focus is women in business in the Clarence River and Valley region. Called ‘The Clarence Valley Women In Business Network Group’ the convenors, local business women Debrah Novak and Cheryl Smith want to start a conversation between the women in the valley who own or run a business or are thinking of doing so. For the two women there are reasons behind setting up this new business group. “Firstly people wouldn’t realise that many of our local businesses are run by women.” Said Ms Novak. “In Yamba CBD there are 100 businesses, 75 of them ore owned by women, 15 are jointly owned and the rest are owned by men. Women in business often have very different needs to men in business especially if they are juggling children, domestic duties and education. There are 4000 registered businesses in the Clarence Valley with four Chamber Of Commerce. Less than 300 of those businesses are a member of those Chambers. So we thought a valley wide business group would be the answer for those 3,700 businesses who are not connected in a conversation. Our group started before Christmas and already has 110 members. While the focus of the group is women, men are not excluded and we welcome them and their skills to our group. To begin with, we are looking for a couple of extra admin volunteers from across the valley to help paint the page. Our first meet and greet is planned for Friday, February 5 at Yamba Cinema at 7pm. The movie we have booked to see is ‘Suffragette’ which tells the true story of how women fought for the right to vote. We chose this movie because Australia’s very own ‘Suffragette’ Jessie Street came from the Clarence Valley at Baryulgil. The night will also be a fund raiser for two very worthy causes, ‘Walk 4 Bailey’ and ‘Rize Up’, both of which support local people” they said. The new women’s business group are looking to stage a number of workshops, host guest speakers and networking events throughout the year to assist local businesses to feel empowered and supported. Businesses world wide are transitioning from one paradigm to a new sharing economy where technology and innovation are the ways to move forward.” For further information go to the Clarence Valley Women In Business Network Face book group or ring Debrah Novak M:0402 404 606.