Need Some Advice, Inspiration, or Mentorship?

Written by: Sam Kise
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These Networking Groups Might Help With That!

When you’re surrounded by the same people and in the same place every day, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut in regard to your business, creativity, or even your personal life. Sometimes the best decision you can make is to interact with new people with different perspectives from you. But, as a busy entrepreneur, it often feels impossible to find those outside connections you need. That’s why this month, I have compiled a list of local and regional networking groups that can help you find those unique connections that just might push you or your business forward—whether that’s through advice, sales and business relationship building, mentorship, inspiration, or just a new perspective on something. Take a look at the networking groups that the area offers!

35 Under 35 Women’s Leadership Program

The 35 Under 35 Women’s Leadership Program, run by United Way of Cass-Clay, is a program meant to “inspire local women from all backgrounds to make a difference, help them realize their leadership skills, and energize their collective power as women in our community.” The program brings together women from the community to network and build connections with others from all walks of life. Applications for 2024’s program will open this September.

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American Advertising Federation – North Dakota

AAF-ND is an organization dedicated to protecting and promoting the wellness of American advertising. Throughout each of their seasons, they bring in advertising experts from all over the country to educate and engage those in the ND advertising industry. The organization also provides networking opportunities-like holiday parties and happy hour events to help those in the industry (or those interested in advertising, like students from our local universities) mingle and learn from each other.

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BNI Beyond Business, Wednesday Morning Originals, and Mountain Climbers

BNI is the world’s leading business networking and referral organization, aiming to gain new business, receive business education, improve business networking skills with positive business people, and speak about business before an audience of positive, like-minded business people. The organization has three local networking groups. Beyond Business meets Tuesdays at 7:30 a.m. at the Rustad Recreation Center, Wednesday Morning Originals meets Wednesdays at 8:15 a.m. at Bonanzaville, and Mountain Climbers meets Thursdays at 7:45 a.m. at Valley Mortgage.

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The Executives Club of Fargo-Moorhead

The Executives’ Club of Fargo-Moorhead is a group “where business and community leaders share ideas, explore opportunities, and engage in trusted inner-circle discussions.” The organization is for key decision-makers of local businesses, like CEOs, Presidents, and Founders. Meetings help local executives connect with others that might have unique insight into leadership in the Fargo- Moorhead community.

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Inspire Networking

Inspire Networking is a membership-based networking group that was founded in 2016. With three chapters in Fargo that all meet on a weekly basis, Inspire provides the opportunity to interact regularly with other professionals in the community and gain valuable networking and relationship-building skills.

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Lotus Midwest/LadyBoss Lifestyle

Lotus Midwest, formerly known as Ladyboss Midwest, was “created to strengthen the presence and power of women in the business community across the Midwest.” Lotus aims to connect, uplift, and advance women professionally through events, newsletters, and articles. Ladyboss Lifestyle, which Melanie Iverson runs in conjunction with Lotus Midwest, is an online community where women can share expertise and resources with each other to help them thrive in their personal lives. Lotus Midwest and Ladyboss Lifestyle can help women in our region network and thrive professionally and personally.

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FMWF Chamber of Commerce

The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce offers many opportunities for networking through a few different Chamber-run groups.

Professionals of Color

FMWF Chamber’s Professionals of Color is a group that aims to impact the FMWF community by creating inclusive opportunities for Professionals of Color to develop personally and professionally through meaningful engagement and a sense of belonging.” This organization is a great way to highlight the diversity of the FM area and help people of color network with other people of color in the local business community.

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Young Professionals Network

The Young Professionals Network believes that “the more informed, involved, and networked young professionals are, the more influence they will have on the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo community.” This group is full of professionals who aim to enhance the future of our community and make positive changes in FMWF.

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Women Connect

Women Connect is a program that hosts monthly events to help with women’s professional development. Each month, the group hosts speakers to address a wide range of professional topics, with time to network with other women afterward.

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North Dakota Women’s Network

The North Dakota Women’s Network (NDWN) aims to “work to improve the lives of women in North Dakota through education, advocacy, and activism.” The group connects people through community projects and initiatives that aid women throughout the state, regardless of whether or not they are directly involved with the group. In partnership with other organizations throughout the state, the NDWN works to increase women’s political participation, advocate for economic parity for all women, improve the health and well-being of all women, provide intervention and prevention of violence against women, and guarantee civil rights for all women within the state of North Dakota.

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North Dakota Women’s Business Center

The North Dakota Women’s Business Center is an organization that provides invaluable support to women business owners in North Dakota. Their goal is to “[amplify] the economic voice of [their] clients through advocacy and access to critical resources.” One of their primary networking opportunities is the “Strong Women, Strong Connections” events, which each feature a panel of local women business leaders. They also offer additional business support to women like business coaching and funding opportunities.

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Women in Networking

Women in Networking is a Fargo-Moorhead-based networking group for women in the metro area. The group aims to connect businesses for women by fostering mutual success in the areas of profitability, leadership, and personal/professional growth in a non-competitive arena.” Members of the group meet twice a month to connect with and learn from one another.

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StartupBREW, energized by Emerging Prairie, is a weekly event that allows local entrepreneurs to connect with one another as well as connecting with the larger community. Each event provides 20 minutes of networking time prior to the speakers (with free coffee!), as well as 20 minutes of Q&A time after the featured speakers have presented. The event takes place in downtown Fargo at Brewhalla each Wednesday from 8 to 9:30 a.m.

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