Our History

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In the mid 1980’s there were very few business networking opportunities tailored specifically for women. Ann Fray Shiffer attended the Main Line Women’s Network in Bala Cynwyd and wanted Chester County to have something similar. When Ann happened to meet Diane Hanson at an event, they discovered they both had the same idea – to start a women’s networking organization in Chester County.

Tired of the “Old Boys Clubs”, they put their heads together and came up with the Women’s Referral Network (WRN). In 1987, they sent out mailings and spread the word in an article in the Daily Local News. They desperately hoped for 25 women to come to the first meeting…they were shocked when 53 showed up! After that, the WRN grew steadily…the founders never dreaming of what it would become.

In 2013, the Women’s Referral Network became the Women’s Business Connection to promote our mission of organically connecting businesses through authentic & genuine women’s networking experiences, as opposed to the misconception that referrals are a prerequisite.