MAPLEWOOD, NJ – The South Orange-Maplewood chapter of Believe, Inspire, Grow (B.I.G.), a business networking organization designed to “empower women to business,” will be meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 18, at 9:15 a.m. at the Ethical Culture Center, 516 Prospect St. in Maplewood.

This membership-based organization aims to “provide intelligent women a positive and educational support network to help move their business ideas forward.”

B.I.G. has been going strong in Maplewood/South Orange for three years under the tutelage of local residents Caroline Gosselin and Yasmeen Jackson Anderson, but at the meeting, the baton is being passed to new pod leaders, Catherine Stratton and Nidhi Tomar. 

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“This is a wonderful opportunity for women to come to see what B.I.G. is all about and to join and participate,” said Tomar, the founder of the local parenting website Momagama.

Right now the South Orange-Maplewood group has 23 members, but they would like to boost it to around 40. 

"B.I.G. has been so good for me in so many ways. All the members are cheerleaders for each other as we move forward together, striving to figure out how to reach our dreams and goals. I have not only gotten support but business through my connections in B.I.G. Becoming a leader is my way of helping other women like me," Stratton said

Speaking at the meeting will be Amy McGlinn, founder and chief executive officer of McGlinn Marketing Group, whose business focuses on “helping solopreneurs make marketing profitable and fun.” As a former advertising executive, McGlinn now uses her expertise to help create outstanding brands that don’t have a million-dollar marketing budget, but do have motivation and passion to help turn their dreams into reality.

Going forward, Tomar and Stratton will host monthly gatherings with area women to discuss relevant business ideas, share insights and brainstorm ways to overcome their obstacles. 

“I am excited to share this great opportunity with the women of SOMA,” said Stratton. “As an entrepreneur, myself, I know first-hand the many struggles and challenges that face women who desire to make economic contributions, without sacrificing their important family commitments. B.I.G. provides the resources and infrastructure to allow us to overcome our business challenges and work toward success.”

The B.I.G. SOMA pod meetings will be held the third Wednesday of each month from 9:15 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Ethical Culture Center in Maplewood.

Women may pre-register for the meetings at the B.I.G. website: www.believeinspiregrow.com