Twin entrepreneurs Melissa Matthews and Michele Matthews-Morancie are the founders of several businesses with a common passion for inspiring, engaging and empowering WOMENtrepreneurs on the island of Trinidad. Through Agitate Media, the pair stir social change by developing and facilitating workshops and training sessions, addressing topics from strategic communications and relationship-building to board development and fundraising. Innovation and implementation are key focuses as they present concepts in new and innovative ways that are easy to understand and even easier to implement.
As part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, 13-19 November, the duo developed and facilitated two workshops: Exploding Entrepreneurs: Helping Mo' Girls Become Moguls and a Breakthrough Brunch for established WOMENtrepreneurs?both with the goal of providing community growth opportunities for women and girls. We asked Michele and Melissa to provide a window into what it takes to plan, organize and facilitate such events. Read Part One of their journal here, and then continue below to find out how the week ends:
Saturday, 18 November
Melissa & Michele, 3 p.m.: Now that our Exploding Entrepreneurs: Helping Mo' Girls Becoming Moguls workshop is successfully completed, we are heading across town to tomorrow's Breakthrough Brunch venue for set up.
Melissa, 9 p.m.: My feet hurt, but if I sit down, I won't be getting back up. We've wrapped all of the tables and are setting up the photo booth area. The space was raw, so we may have underestimated the amount of work necessary to make it shine. I definitely wanted to be home three hours ago.
Michele, 12 midnight: We're waiting for the venue manager to come and lock up. We still have so much to do before the event tomorrow morning. The bright side is that the place is clean, the tables are set and I just have a few more circles to cut for the activity we have planned. We're all yawning; it's time to go home!
Sunday, 19 November: Women's Entrepreneurship Day
Melissa, 2 a.m.: I just got home. I'm going to shower and go to bed, but first I need to gather the decor items I forgot to bring this morning.
Michele, 2 a.m.: Just dropped Melissa off. When I get home, I'm going to pick out an outfit for the brunch and then go to sleep.
Melissa, 2:30 a.m.: I cannot sleep. All I can think about is making sure that everything is perfect tomorrow, but I really need to be sleeping. I wonder if Michele and Aisha are still up? I'll message them.
Michele, 2:30 a.m.: Got home 15 minutes ago, found a very fly outfit, but now I cannot sleep. I wonder if Melissa and Aisha are up? I'll message them.
Melissa, 3 a.m.: Apparently none of us can sleep. I sent a list of everything everyone needs to bring tomorrow. If we are going to look exhausted from all the worry and preparation, our event better be flawless!
Melissa, 4 a.m.: I had an hour's nap, but now my daughter is up, so back to work, I guess. Hmm?what should I wear?
Michele, 7 a.m.: I got 90 minutes of sleep. I'm on my way to pick up Melissa and head to the venue to finish the setup.
Melissa 8:30 a.m.: We just got to the venue; there is so much more to do! I hope we finish before guests arrive.
Michele, 12:30 p.m.: The event is in full swing. We started a little late and six of the 17 RSVPed guests didn't turn up, but there is a lively crowd here. The challenge activity we designed?mapping our greatest hurdles as WOMENtrepreneurs?went over like gangbusters! We are now in a meaty discussion about business taxes and retirement planning. The women attendees range in age from 25 to 62; there is so much knowledge being shared.
Melissa, 9 p.m.: I just got home. The event ended at 2:30 p.m. and most of the clean-up was complete by 4 p.m. I don't know why we didn't leave until 8 p.m., but I'm happy that it was a big success and that it is all over! Our guests were excited to participate. They even asked about our next event?that's always a good sign. Time to start planning!
So that's how it went! On Monday after the weekend's events we received a plethora of thank-you notes, inquiries about upcoming events from participants of both the Exploding Entrepreneurs and Breakthrough Brunch, as well as lots of event pictures.
It was a good "weekend at the office" for us, jam-packed and jelly tight with every high and low in between. Lifting up our communities and the women and girls in them is a tough job, but we are honored to be among the group of entrepreneurs doing so!