Home Lancashire News Chorley networking group expands

Chorley networking group expands

(L-R) Melanie Tonge, Suzy Orr and Sarah Hulme

A Chorley businesswoman who created her own style of networking group three years ago is celebrating its success by franchising the model.

Unique Ladies was started by Suzy Orr, who runs Windoworld with husband Ronnie, because she became disillusioned with available networking organisations for women.

“I wanted a group which didn’t involve membership fees and which provided inspirational speakers and genuine networking opportunities,” she explained.

The formula proved successful. She launched her first monthly group meeting at the Lancashire Manor Hotel in East Pimbo, near Wigan, before adding more groups by demand. She started the Manchester group, originally at The Lowry, two years ago and this has gone from strength to strength.

Suzy said: “I realised, though, that I was spreading myself very thinly throughout the groups, I wanted to ensure the future and quality of Unique Ladies’ meetings so I opted for franchising.”

Melanie Tonge has already taken over the Preston group, which meets alternately at the Guild Lounge at Preston North End FC and Society 1 in central Preston.

Sarah Hulme, who runs a business in the beauty industry, has taken over the Manchester group which meets at the Banyan Kitchen in central Manchester. Her first meeting in charge is on Friday when champion bodybuilder Jo Peruzza will be the main speaker.

In the meantime, Suzy has also been approached by other North-west businesswomen to launch more groups using the franchise model, she said: “I’m delighted with the response to franchising.

“It reflects how well the Unique Ladies’ brand has become established but it also shows what a great fit it is for home workers from all backgrounds and for all businesswomen now realising more and more that networking can work for them.”