Tired of attending business networking events where you feel bored and out of place, collect a stack of useless business cards from strange people and leave early re-evaluating why you were even there in the first place?
Robert W. Hackney and his friends had too many similar experiences, so they formed the Charlotte Business Group in January, where he hopes to “build a better Charlotte through community service, professional development, and the cultivation of meaningful relationships.”
This business group is a Charlotte-based organization with a focus around three principles: philanthropy, professional development and personal growth.
Local business owners, entrepreneurs, executives, professionals and even young adults searching to get connected with talented people in Charlotte are all encouraged to join. Hackney wants the Charlotte Business Group to be composed of like-minded individuals who have a giving mentality and are eager to make a positive impact on his or her community, career and lifestyle.
Each month, the Charlotte Business Group raises money and awareness for a different lesser-known local charity through fundraisers, events around town or networking social mixers. You might have spotted them socializing with some brews on the patios at Ink & Ivy, Rooftop 210 or Ed’s Tavern. Guest speakers that range from Olympic athletes to city council representatives will also come and share their experiences with the group.
Social media has been a huge boost for the group, allowing members to build off of each other’s resources to grow their company. You can even post about your company or services on their Facebook page as well as spread the word about raising money for the group’s chosen charity for that month. So far, these charities have included The We Win Foundation, Urban Eagles, Project2Heal, Humane Society of Charlotte and The Males Place.
While attending previous Charlotte Business Group events, I thought everyone seemed eager to help one another, and I even got some good leads for my digital side business all while sipping on IPAs. Hackney had Facebook Live streaming throughout the party to have anyone share how their business can help our community. And while raising money and supplies for the Humane Society of Charlotte at Lucky Dog Bark & Brew last month, the group gave you a free professional headshot with your dog!
So, how do you join the Charlotte Business Group?
Attend one of the monthly events:
– Guest speaker events are the second Wednesday of every month from 7:30-9 a.m. at Arthur’s Restaurant & Wine Shop at SouthPark Mall.
– Networking social events are the last Wednesday of every month from 5-9 p.m. at various venues around town, usually a hot spot, brand new restaurant or bar you’ll want to visit ASAP.
Or check out their website.
Their “Summer Kick-Off” social/networking mixer is this Wednesday, June 28 at Catawba Brewing Company from 5-9 p.m. For more information, click here.
Give it a try with your coworkers or friends sometime! Our professional lives should be fun and entertaining, so Charlotte Business Group might be your opportunity to network and grow your professional life in Charlotte without the forced handshakes and mundane elevator pitches that make you cringe.
Photos: Will Johnson