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New Retreat To Boost Women Entrepreneurs

By ALESHA CADET

Tribune Features Reporter

acadet@tribunemedia.net

There is strength in numbers, and The Woman Behind the Business organisation is setting out to prove this when it hosts a special five-day retreat for women starting today at the Meliá Nassau Beach Resort (pending Hurricane Irma's movements).

Team members are urging Bahamian women "to get ready for an experience unlike any other". The company said the retreat is not going to be just another boring conference that keeps persons indoors all day. Instead, it is going to feature morning yoga on the beach, hands-on workshops and outings to provide strength, strategy and success: a toolkit to sustainability.

Sessions will cover topics such as "Are Your Dollars Making Sense?", "Taking a Seat at the Table", "Mind your Business" and " Speak with Confidence, Act with Grace." Registration is $149 per person.

The idea for the retreat came from American businesswoman Angel Livas, who, after launching her company DC Media Connection, realised there was a serious lack resources for startup businesses owned by women.

Prior to developing DC Media Connection, Angel worked with senior-level executives at a multi-tier nonprofit organisation to translate complex messaging to optimise engagement opportunities. She oversaw six-nationally syndicated talk-radio shows and transitioned several of them into award-winning programmes. In 2014, she received a Gracie Award for a series that examined the impact of Alzheimer's on not only the patient, but the caregiver.

"I thought that if individuals established legitimate relationships with one another before considering how they might 'do business together', it might spark an opportunity to increase their likelihood of expanding their brand and business beyond borders," she told Tribune Woman.

"We are very excited to be so well received by the local Bahamian community. To ensure that all attendees gain valuable insights from women leaders from United States and the Bahamas, we have a number of high-profile women speaking from both countries."

Speakers will include: CEO of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission Carla Reid; Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Gloria Goins; CEO of Ex Nihilo Management Angela Dingle; CEO of the Professional Pipeline Development Group Monica P Hawkins; former Superintendent of Royal Bahamas Police Force Elaine Sands; founder of Reussir Modelling, Acting & Refinement Aushia Smith; Consul General of the Bahamas Paulette Zonicle, and CEO of Global Empowerment Services Dr Melisa Hall.

Angel believes the retreat will provide a tremendous amount of resources for women to move to the next level in their businesses. Whether they are interested in gaining practical marketing and social media skills, learning about women and wealth, or merely in need of hearing lessons from other women who have face a number of difficult situations and made it through, the retreat is there place to be, she promises.

"Another reason to attend the retreat is to foster relationships with other women leaders; to grow both through professional development, as well as through interactive and fun activities. We are claiming our inaugural year as a success. As an organisation, we have received amazing support from such organisations as the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce, and most recently, the University of the Bahamas. Our goal is to return to the Bahamas in 2018 and bring even more women leaders from the United States and engage an even broader range of women entrepreneurs from the Bahamas," said Angel.

She added that "when everything comes together almost effortlessly, you know that there is a higher power working for your good."

Angel is eager to watch the connections occur at this retreat, and even afterwards, she is hoping to connect and follow up with participants during the next two to six months for feedback.

"It's my hope that attendees are still in contact and seeking ways in which they can and will collaborate. To watch them gain a new perspective and reap the benefits from the lessons taught at the Woman Behind the Business retreat, that's what's important to me," said Angel.

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