Dining club for female entrepreneurs
“Time is wasted on competing when you could be collaborating.” This is the philosophy behind La Maison, a dining club aimed at bringing female entrepreneurs in Bermuda together.
The brainchild of Danielle Paynter, the head of business development at Butterfield Bank called on her extensive body of contacts to get the group going at the end of last year.
Support came from Laura Purroy, general manager of developer Hotelco Bermuda Holding, and Melissa Leach, founder of swimwear line Factor Bermuda.
La Maison has so far hosted intimate dinners and a summer social that attracted some 60 professional women. A thought leadership event in conjunction with Ignite Bermuda takes place next week, a winter social is also on the cards.
“As entrepreneurs we will all grow if we support each other,” Ms Paynter said. “We may grow, but not as fast as if we collaborate.”
It's with that in mind she hosted a dinner last year — and La Maison was born.
“I sent an e-mail out to ten women who are entrepreneurs, or aspiring to be. I hosted an informal dinner with music, speciality cocktails, gift bags and cards I thought would help pull out conversation about entrepreneurship and being a woman.
“It was so well received. It was an awesome opportunity to connect and talk about our challenges.”
Ms Purroy and Ms Leach were so impressed that offered their help to develop the idea further.
A second dinner was another success. As momentum grew, the trio hosted a summer social that widened the pool of women even further.
“There were about 60 women at that event in July and after that there was an outpouring of women interested in future events,” Ms Paynter said.
“These women were craving community and wanted to offer their services. I did a survey asking what are the areas they needed help with and that facilitated collaboration.
“The mailing list grew to about 200 and in order to keep momentum going, I developed an Instagram account to use as a communication tool.”
At the moment she's planning for Fear & Entrepreneurship: The Psychology of What Scares Us, the thought leadership event La Maison is hosting with Ignite Bermuda on September 26.
Her advice to anyone interested, is to sign up early as space is limited.
“We can only take 40 people. It will be first come, first served,” she said.
Tickets for Fear and Entrepreneurship: The Psychology of What Scares Us, are $10 at the door. The event will be held at Ignite Bermuda's offices, 12 Wesley Street, from 5.30pm until 7pm. For more information: email@example.com or @lamaisonbda on Instagram