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HerHub 101: Our Why, How & What.

Updated: Jul 3, 2020

You are probably wondering why Women of Toledo launched another initiative? In 2019, we served 1385 women and youth with more than 23 program's sessions aimed to elevate female advocacy and economic advancement. Our flagship mentorship circle continued to be one of our popular program services, with 47 high talented women leaders serving their time to mentor 64 of our mentees throughout the year. Why not continue expanding our existing program services instead?

Why HerHub?

In addition, this particular initiative took almost two years to pilot while undergoing multiple LIVE beta testing. And here we are - HerHub 3.0 ready to go and transform how we connect and collaborate with others in creative ways. More than ever, we are committed to serve and support our female community members to elevate their quality of lives not just within our organization's programs and services, but enhance our community by helping women find the right opportunities, networks, and resources for personal & professional connection and growth outside our walls. In addition, by providing this resource we hope to encourage and build confidence for new women businesses and enhance & elevate the visibility of the existing women’s groups, businesses, and events by building a large, diverse, inclusive, comprehensive community of women supporting women.

Our mission at HerHub is to connect women, resources, businesses, and organizations in the Toledo, Ohio area through an online HUB that will expand HER reach. Therefore, HerHub is not another group, programs, events, or organizations but an initiative that curated a connection and collaboration among others. We believe in supporting each other in ways that will create stronger relationships between ourselves, our communities, and ultimately, our world. In a nutshell, HerHub is a one-stop-shop connection or resources to local women’s development and economic advancement opportunities in greater Toledo.

The History: In 2017, UN Women’s Empower Women announced their Champions for Change recipients, and out of 4000 global applicant’s project proposals, 169 were awarded the title and fellowship tenured with UN Women. Out of those 169 recipients, HerHub proposal was one of them. Our HerHub, Champion for Change project is under the Business Development arena, which involves a series of innovative initiatives geared toward developing organizational Hub.

Market Research and Benchmark: Over the past two years, we have met and connected with a lot of people, women’s group leaders, and businesses, making it apparent that everyone is trying to accomplish the same objective, with shared goals. Many were operating in silos, each striving to build women’s empowerment.

We realized that while there are plenty of women organizations or women-focused program/events in Greater Toledo, no one was communicating the current program/events in one spot visible for all to see, and for a city of our size, we should be doing more to bring our communities together towards collaboration, and minimize the duplication of scheduling events & conferences on the same day. From these listening and focus group sessions, 10 women leaders came together to establish HerHub initiatives under WOT’s Advisory Board governance. The first phase of the strategy was to create an online platform on which other women’s networking groups, organizations, and businesses could connect. With a foundation of plenty of female leaders and initiatives available in our community, all we needed was a space to contribute and collaborate on common goals. This is where the idea of a foundational ‘hub’ was born. In the spirit of boldness and imagination, HerHub initiatives were aimed for total transformation rather than incremental change. HerHub’s approach can help women’s groups learn what others are doing, develop ways to build strength by numbers or resources, address duplication and overlap, and achieve more via collaboration and networking. In addition, it will increase effectiveness at achieving high impact, positive social progress, and economic empowerment in the community. Ultimately, it will make Toledo an even better place to work, live, mentor, and raise the next generation, with women leading the charge!

Our Mission: The strategy behind HerHub is to create a platform that effectively fosters a collaborative environment where we curate introductions and offer opportunities within other women’s groups, mission-driven organizations, businesses, and non-profit organizations in greater Toledo. Through this, we can provide a platform that is effective in its own right at building upon the strength of others. HerHub thrives on its original statements to be:

  • Inclusive by connecting organizations and businesses.

  • Approachable through an online platform.

  • Trustworthy in our mission to share reliable resources.

  • Dedicated to women’s empowerment.

  • Compassionate in our care for one another.

In addition to our objective to strengthen women's economic empowerment in Northwest Ohio, the UN - Women’s Empowerment Principles offer practical guidance to businesses and private sectors on ways to empower women in the workplace, marketplace, and community. Developed through a partnership between UN Women and the United Nations Global Compact, the Principles are designed to support companies in reviewing existing policies and practices—or establishing new ones—to better support the empowerment of women.

HerHub is fortunate enough to fall under the governance of nonprofit Inclusive for Women Inc DBA Women of Toledo, empowering its goals to create initiatives that connect women, resources, local businesses, and organizations through an online HUB. Through this, we strive to create opportunities, ideas, and conversations that will lead to women’s economic advancement in the area. In addition, HerHub Initiatives will offer a collaborative coworking community platform designed for women to connect, communicate, contribute, and collaborate.

HerHub Component: Part of our overall mission at HerHub is to create one space where connections happen. Our directory and map will facilitate this process by providing access to:

  • Non-profit events and organizations: creating a way to spread awareness for these amazing causes. We aim to be the central hub for women’s non-profit events.

  • Female-owned businesses: to help advertise and support female-owned businesses in Toledo through our directory and map as well as through shout-outs on social media, our Facebook group, blogs, podcasts and so much more.

  • Local authors: Any local female published author can list their book for FREE in our women authors section, which is also featured on our home page.

  • Programs/Events: any member of HerHub, business or nonprofit, can submit their events to our events calendar and we will help display and promote them.

  • Volunteer Opportunity: matching women based on their talents and needs with volunteer opportunities within the community.

  • Virtual Mentorship & Mastermind: A membership to HerHub gives you access to our Facebook mastermind group where you will be able to connect with mentors and begin a journey of self-empowerment and growth.

  • HerHub’s Events Calendar: We want to create a space where our members are able to be an active part of our online community. Therefore, we want to encourage any member, business, or non-profit of HerHub to submit their events to our events calendar and we will be more than happy to display and promote them!

Part of this, we hope to support and spread awareness for women-focused nonprofit groups and organizations. HerHub strives to provide information on an online platform with connections to other women’s businesses, organizations, events, workshops, tools, and resources for self-development and visibility within the community.

Current research indicates that collaboration helps businesses perform better, and diversity within women’s groups can enhance performance, bring innovations, and overall happiness. The collaborative effort under the HerHub initiatives will become a force multiplier, enhancing the time, talent, and resources invested. It is our goal to bring these options to one place, enabling everyone the opportunity to connect and empower one another.

New & Belong: HerHub aims at helping women connect and grow through professional development, volunteer, and advocacy opportunities while exploring their sense of belonging.

Case Study: Julie is new to Toledo and does not feel part of the community yet but wants to meet new people and build connections. A colleague recommends HerHub as a starting point. After searching the types of opportunities that fit her interest and her schedule, Julie attends a few events. She uses HerHub as a resource to find more ongoing opportunities to serve as a volunteer committee member. Julie is now on two boards and excited to be part of the Greater Toledo community.

Mastermind Group: We have something amazing brewing in our Facebook Mastermind group! This extension of HerHub is accessible to all of our members and is a way for you to connect to more women in our community as well as find mentorship in an intimate setting. If you are a woman who strives to be the best version of herself and wants to grow personally and professionally, you are in the right place!

Here at HerHub we all come from different backgrounds and industries, but we share two common goals:

  1. To be successful and purposeful within our professional and personal lives.

  2. To learn from and support other incredible women.

This community is meant to give you a place where you are fully seen, heard, valued, and understood. We learn from one another while constantly celebrating each other’s wins!

As an amazing bonus, you’ll get access to the knowledge and wisdom of empowering female mentors! We strive to create a space where you will always be able to reach out for advice and resources provided by other women. HerHub is the perfect place to gain wisdom, inspiration, collaboration, and personal & professional development.

Why implement the Membership model? There are three reasons why we create a membership fee for HerHub. HerHub has a business model that depends on annual support and renewing memberships for sustainability and income stream. HerHub managed by 4 part-timer independent employees, and 2 talented volunteers of Task Team, and it is important that they feel empowered while working and supporting others through this initiative that aims to empower women's economic advancement. 2. Loyalty & Values. You heard the phrases - There Is No Value In Free. People value what they pay for. Lastly, the bottom line. HerHub has consistently social media presence with strong followers and subscribers. With the initiate expanding both on visibility and opportunity, as well as benefits offering, this initiative look poised to expand our footprint, nationwide. Your membership will support this investment while expanding your ROI to a bigger impact and cause of women supporting women's movement.

Learn more here:

HerHub 3.0 made possible by Founding Partners support by Keybank and Jumpstart NW Ohio.

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