A new way of bringing businesses together is to be launched in the Black Country. Pathway2Grow is launching a new approach to networking in the Black Country and is looking for partners to work on the project that has already been successfully run in Birmingham, London and Worcestershire. It combines regular meetings with online social media including Facebook, whatsapp and LinkedIn.

“Our aim is to create simply great events for business owners,” said Safaraz Ali, founder of Pathway2Grow. “Businesses tell us that networking is the best way to win work but we also know that many people want a different approach to what is already available and so we have developed a new way based upon ‘Coffee and Natter’ sessions linked with an online community.”

Coffee and Natter meetings take place regularly, usually every month and are free to attend with free coffee and tea. There is usually a guest speaker and a Book Review on a business related topic. But the emphasis is on informality with businesspeople having the opportunity to meet and form relationships without the pressure of having to pass on often artificial, referrals. People who attend can make a short presentation about their own business or just listen and enjoy the coffee and tea and meet others.

“There is no requirement to attend regularly although we find that most people enjoy the meetings and do come back each month. In this way they get the most out of it,” added Safaraz Ali. “But there is no pressure to pass on business or referrals. It is all about meeting people and getting to know them. We know that people are most likely to do business with those that they like and trust.” The concept has been tried and proved successful in Birmingham, London and in Worcestershire and now the Black Country has been chosen as the next place to establish ‘Coffee and Natter.’

Now Pathway2Grow is looking for partners to be involved in the roll out of the project. “We are offering people who like networking and supporting businesses the chance to run groups on a franchise basis,” added Safaraz Ali. “They will get support in setting up the group and will be able to attract local sponsors. “It is a great opportunity for people who enjoy working with businesses.”