A NEW business networking group has started in Portsmouth – with the aim of creating a relaxed and informal alternative to traditional business meetings.
The network called LDV Hub has been set up by Lauren De Vries, from Cosham.
The 31-year-old decided to set up the network after she re-evaluated her life when her son Oliver was born and he needed open heart surgery aged just five days old.
Lauren, who used to work as sales manager travelling Europe for a paint firm, said: ‘I have been in the corporate world forever – and I was working for a big company.
‘Last year I had my son and he was in hospital for five weeks – that's when I started to realise that life is too short and that I wanted to do something that I love.
‘I love connecting people and helping people to achieve what they want to achieve so I quit my job and decided to set up my own network.’
LDV Hub has now held two meetings at the Emporium bar in Southsea – the last one on February 5 – and Lauren says she was pleased to see a good turn out for each event.
She said: ‘My biggest fear was that nobody would turn up but they did and the feedback was phenomenal.
‘They all liked it because it was so relaxed.
‘I don’t even like calling it a network - it was more like a group of friends giving business advice over a few drinks.
‘There was a good range there - there were people from well established businesses there, as well as start-ups and small firms, and some people who were right at the start of their journeys with business ideas that they needed help to get off the ground.’
The events have been such a success that Lauren is already planning a third meeting.
She said: ‘We are now super excited to start the planning and organising for our third event.’
For more information and to register to be notified of the next meeting date go to ldvhub.com/