Network Provence will hold their second meeting Thursday April 30 from 5 to 7 pm in the Luberon village of Maubec, about 15 minutes east of Cavaillon and an hour north of Aix.
This is a loose organization designed for business and social networking, with English-speaking members drawn from all over Provence. A 15€ fee for the event includes wine, soft drinks and nibbles provided by Sandra Nguyen of SandKitchen.
The group was the brainchild of Rebecca Ronane, who moved to Provence from London in the mid ‘90s. Professionally Rebecca wears a number of hats, including working as a tour director throughout Europe and, more recently, providing life and business coaching to women over 50. (She works with individual clients and also offers what she calls Cappuccino Group Coaching Sessions on a monthly basis.) Her husband Alain (half French and half Dutch) works in the travel industry as well, when he’s not busy with his pet project: reviving an olive grove abandoned in 1956.
“I was looking around for opportunities and events where I could meet other English speakers, with the goal of promoting my coaching business,” Rebecca tells me. “I looked at the various groups in the region and didn’t find one that seemed like what I wanted. So I thought, ‘why not start one myself’?” The first meeting drew 26 people--25 of them women--and a mix of nationalities including French women who speak just a bit of English. “It was a nice multi-cultural mix,” Rebecca says, “and some really interesting things have already developed from it. Sometimes a bridge between cultures can be difficult unless you’re put in the right circumstances.”
For the time being, the get-togethers will be held in Rebecca and Alain’s home and are therefore limited to 30 people max but as interest grows, different venues could be used. “Our house is rather convivial which adds a nice dimension,” she says.
At each meeting, anyone who wants to present their business or activities to the group is welcome to do so, for a minute or two each. Everyone is also encouraged to bring flyers, business cards or other promo materials.
While men are welcome, the group is really designed to help English-speaking women of all nationalities make business contacts and new friendships. “I’m not eliminating men but my goal these days is about women power,” Rebecca says. “The idea is to enable networking focused on that. And the women come because they like that idea.”