This week Iwant2network visits the Middle East to interview Helena Baker, founder of English Speaking Networking. A group that aims to shake up the networking scene for English speakers in Israel.
An avid networker and speaker in England, Helena grew her business in the UK thanks to determined and focused networking. Explaining how she found that core groups – those with fixed agendas and paying members – proved the most effective to growing her business. She found Israel sorely lacking in this area.
In fact, despite the fact that Israel boasts a thriving English speaking community, with Tel Aviv alone playing home to a huge number of expats, there really wasn’t an accessible option available.
With more formal groups being run in Hebrew, which many English speakers struggle to master and English speaking groups often targeted at the high tech community, she was at a veritable loss.
Not only that, but adjusting to business life proved challenging and Helena missed the support she had so gratefully received from fellow members back in England.
But, then she realised she couldn’t be the only one. There must be other individuals seeking out a networking experience akin to one at home. So, English Speaking Networking was born, a space for the Anglo community to come together for support, learning opportunities and business referrals.
With years of networking experience under her belt as well as a stint running a group in Camden, Helena had a clear vision. A space that would not only provide business, but also an opportunity for owners and professionals to flourish as they come to terms with life in their new home. She also understood that certain tweaks must be made to help transform the group into a viable option for Israeli culture.
Therefore, running from 9am-11 am, the groups will start after the Jewish festivals. A time that, traditionally in Israel sees companies look to actively seek new opportunities. She will also be offering a special membership for business owners who don’t reside in Israel, but are looking to grow their network and profile through attendance (when they visit Israel) as well as entry into the closed Facebook group.
With the first event featuring special speaker Esther Taub of Esther Taub fitness, an Instagram sensation that has seen incredible success in Israel. Helena plans to alternate one week with a guest speaker, who offers real value to the group, followed by a member of the group, giving them the opportunity to elaborate on their own business.
She will also be promoting all members on her own active social media channels as well as leading by example in encouraging members to do 121s, as she knows from experience that is where the real business is done.
With big plans for ESN, Helena plans to have 15 members in her core Tel Aviv group by the end of the year as well as the start of a women’s group that fits around the schedule of working mothers.
Looking towards 2020 she hopes to create more groups in key English speaking communities with sights on Ramat Beit Shemesh, Petach Tikva and Givat Shmuel.
f you are interested in visiting the Tel Aviv group or would like to see a branch close to you, feel free to email ESN on firstname.lastname@example.org or give them a call on +9726538658763. You can also sign up to their launch event here.