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Women Entrepreneurs Happy Hour: Old Girl Network

Back in the day, I belonged to Phoenix Country Club, which had a Men’s Grill that prohibited women (except waitresses) from entering. I quickly realized all the best deals went down in the Men’s Grill, and one day I freaked out the entire membership by stepping over the threshold and walking to a table of men. You would have thought I had peed in a urinal. But I was a startup, and all I wanted was equal opportunity for networking. In the Ladies Lounge, the women quaintly played mah johngg.

Eventually, the Men’s Grill was forced to admit women, but it took forty years. Thank goodness

women entrepreneurs can no longer be excluded by exclusive boys’ clubs. On the other hand, there are times when it’s a good idea to share business, personal, or “juggling” concerns with other women. Sort of an evening with the girls, business style.

So three other friends and I have decided to start a women’s Happy Hour once a month. The other women are the remarkable Jenny Poon, Businesswoman of the Year, founder of Co+Hoots, speaker and author Katherine Halpin, whose Halpin Companies have been advising on human capital for two decades, and PK Fields, who is bootstrapping an amazing company called ElderSense.

We’re going to meet at The Henry, because so many Phoenix entrepreneurs hold their power meetings there. It’s centrally located, and already a hangout.

We’re not sure what will happen at this Happy Hour, but here is what I hope will transpire:

1)we will suss out more female entrepreneurs beyond the ones we already know. There are many who are already part of #yesphx, but there are many others who keep a lower profile. For example, there are several charter school founders and co-founders, a ton of nonprofits, and several healthcare companies. There are commercial real estate women, and women who sell artisanal products. I’ve come across many of them, but I don’t believe they’ve had a chance to meet each other.

They all have something in common; they’ve made a leap into the entrepreneurial community.

2)we will slowly grow an old girl’s network that rivals the old boy’s network — the kind in which trust plays a big role.

3)we will extend an opportunity for women to meet other women with common interests, and who can help each other.

4)We will not add any more stress or formality to the already-crowded landscape of women’s lives by requiring RSVPs, contributions, or preparation.

Instead, we hope to be a place where women can informally meet and talk to each other, have a glass of wine, and then go home to spend the evening with their families. Jenny, after all, also has a two-year-old.



Stories, thoughts, and news from the Greater Phoenix startup and entrepreneurial community.

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