March 9, 2011
Flying solo can be challenging at times. Social groups, both online and offline, give us opportunities to link up with people that share common goals. Whether you’re seeking think tanks, mastermind groups or adventure – there is truly something for everyone. Cohesive social events have become the norm for urban dwellers and beyond.
Nearly fifty percent of the world is ‘urbanized.’ Roughly 60 million new urban dwellers make their homes in major cities annually. Should these trends continue, the global urban population is expected to reach 6.3 billion in 2050, or 70% of the world’s population.
One would think more people equates to new opportunities to meet like-minded people. Not so. In fact, it has become increasingly difficult to cut through the clutter and connect. Amanda Hofman, a former collegiate resident assistant and corporate market researcher, turned entrepreneur, was met with the same dilemma.
Determined to enjoy New York City and launch social events with perks, in 2008 Amanda Hofman founded Urban Girl Squad. Learn how Hofman developed a fun way to get to know the city, connect with other women (sorry guys!), enjoy exclusive localized perks and make a big city seem a bit smaller. Most importantly, you’ll learn why Hofman asserts that “nice things don’t make a business.”
Company: Urban Girl Squad
Founder, Age: Amanda Hofman, 29
Location: New York, NY
Startup Year: 2008
Startup Costs: $3,000
How I Got Started: I saw a void for community-based social networking groups for women in NYC. There are plenty of business-networking groups, but to find a group of women that is friendly and doing fun things in the city can be tough. I had a strong network of women in NYC from my time at Barnard, and in the years since graduation, I’ve met so many women, whom I want to introduce to my network. Creating Urban Girl Squad was my answer to the problem!
Best Customer Interaction: After attending several of our events, one woman decided not to move away from New York City because she met so many new friends at Urban Girl Squad. The group is a real savior for women who move to NYC for work or a partner and need to build up a network. Of course, we have really fun stories about women trying crazy things at our events: they are shooting a gun for the first time at our rifle-shooting event or trying out pole dancing for the first time when they’d never thought they would do any of these things on their own!
Biggest Startup Challenge: I think the biggest startup challenge is staying motivated. It’s tough to be your own taskmaster 24/7! You need a supportive group of friends and business owners who can help you through your “fail” days.
#1 Tips for Newbies: Solicit negative feedback. You can always find people who will tell you nice things, but nice things don’t make a business. You need to hear what people DON’T like in order to improve.
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