Much about our vision, structure, and activities can be found here in our info sheet.
Structure and Mission
Ok, so how does this work?
The core WE Collective membership (also known as Active Members or Small Group Members) is organized around multiple small groups. Each group is comprised of between 10-14 local women business owners or women who are actively working toward implementing a business idea. The groups meet once a month for a two-hour meeting. A commitment for a minimum of six months is required. Attendance at monthly meetings is the rule rather than the expectation.
What is WE Collective all about? Are we required to use services/goods offered by WE Collective members?
No, you are not required to use services/good offered by WE Collective members. We emphasize authentic and organic relationships among our members. WE Collective is not a referral-driven group. There is no requirement to refer one another or use each others’ services/goods. There is no incentive to send business to one another. But do we refer each other? Yes. All the time. But it’s because we know each other and we trust each other. WE Collective is first and foremost a community, not a networking group. Our goal is to share the daily joys and struggles of being women entrepreneurs. Increased client or revenue streams may be an effect of joining WE Collective but is not the mission.
What is the mission of WE Collective?
We are a community of women who support, connect, and engage with fellow female entrepreneurs in Durham, North Carolina. We are an inclusive group committed to diversity, authenticity, accountability, and collaboration. We strive to address the unique challenges facing female business-owners by sharing resources, meeting monthly, providing each other with business feedback, and creating a supportive community for local women entrepreneurs. We are equally as passionate about supporting one another as we are about supporting the local freelance and entrepreneurial culture of Durham and the surrounding area. As a group, we value the diversity of our city and strive to have that diversity represented in our membership.
Who is eligible to join?
You are eligible to be a member of WE Collective if you:
- Are a woman or identify as a woman
- You own your own business or are actively engaged in starting your own business
- You can attend monthly in-person meetings in Durham (but you do not need to live in Durham)
- You agree to attend monthly in-person meetings
How do you define small business ownership?
Basically, the buck stops with you. You are your brand, and you and you do not have a larger company backing you. In general, this means that WE Collective is not for franchisees, MLM partners, or anyone working for anyone else. Both product- and service-based businesses are represented. If you are still figuring out what your business is, you’re welcome in WE Collective.
Are nonprofit directors eligible? How about freelancers?
Yes and yes! For simplicity sake, all of our marketing and web copy refers to "small business owner." However, our membership goes beyond just traditional small business owners and welcomes nonprofit directors, freelancers, and other independent workers. If you're unsure about whether or not you are eligible, please email us!
Joining WE Collective
What makes a good member?
WE Collective is built on the model of trust and commitment. When considering joining WE Collective, ask yourself whether you can commit to attending your monthly small-group meeting and investing in relationships with the women in your group. Are you sincerely interested in building authentic relationships with other women entrepreneurs in Durham?
How do I know if WE Collective is right for me?
WE Collective is distinct from other similar groups in that our focus is not focused on networking, referrals, or mining for clients. Instead, we are committed through our time and actions to create a supportive in-person community of women who support each other through the ups and downs of entrepreneurial life. We also honor that each of our members is a whole woman who has a complex life - we are more than just our work. There is a sense of vulnerability and trust as we share the intellectual, physical, and crucially, the emotional labor of owning a business. We bring our intellect and our intuition, our skills and our emotions, our bodies and our senses of humor, and occasionally our babies, to our WE Collective gatherings.
Are there different kinds of membership?
There are three types of membership:
- Active Members. This comprises the majority of our membership. Each member is part of a small group. Active members pay dues every six months. In addition, members have the option of joining a committee or leadership board if they desire.
- Community. These are women who want to stay connected via email and participate in the quarterly socials. These members are not part of a small group. There is no associated fee. Our Community list will not be placed in a small group, nor will they be admitted into the closed Facebook group.
- Alumna. These are women who have spent at least six months in a WE Collective small group but needed to step away from the group commitment. They are still involved in the group via Facebook and social events.
How do I join?
Depending on our numbers, we accept new members in the Spring and the Fall. Our Spring 2018 membership window is now closed. Please fill out our inquiry form if you'd like to be notified when we are taking new members.
What are the expected commitments to WE Collective?
As a member of WE Collective, you are agreeing to come to the *majority* of your monthly meetings for at least six months. Attendance is the rule, not the exception. You must pay dues per six-month period. Members are all admitted to the private Facebook community and encouraged to participate. Members also have the option of joining a committee or leadership board if they desire.
How much are dues?
In order to make the group as accessible as possible, we've set up four tiers to choose from ($0, $30, $60, or $90 per six-month commitment). The amount you pay is up to you - all tiers receive the same membership benefits. WE Collective is an inclusive community, regardless of how much you choose to contribute.
How long are the small group meetings?
Meetings are held monthly for approximately 2 hours.
What happens during small group meetings?
Members share responsibility for hosting, setting the agenda, facilitating the meeting, providing refreshments, and presenting.
Meetings usually consist of the following:
- Personal/professional check-in
- Business presentations (1-2 per meeting) – members present and get feedback on any aspect of their businesses
- Skillshares – an informal presentation on a topic of interest to the group