Networking isn’t something that comes naturally to me. Growing up I was incredibly shy and quiet, and while I am less shy now I still do have my moments!

Despite this I have been trying to get out there to meet new people. Yesterday, I attended two networking events – i-genius cafe London in the morning, and nfptweetup in the evening.

i-genius cafe London 

The i-genius event, held at Tinderbox Cafe in Angel, was an informal networking event for social entrepreneurs. I read about the event on Twitter – I had not heard of i-genius before, and didn’t really know what to expect but decided to go because the organisation sounded interesting.

i-genius is a world community of social entrepreneurs in over 200 countries. They organise events and training courses in social entrepreneurship around the world. 

Networking at i-genius and NFPtweetup Events

Networking at the i-genius event (Photo: Facebook)

Working from home can be quite hard sometimes as it can mean I don’t see and speak to as many people as I used to when working in an office. The i-genius event was a great way for me to start the day. I met some really inspiring people who are working in different fields and are achieving so much.

A lot of the people I spoke to had international businesses or experience, which I really enjoyed learning about. For example, Nancy Johnston – the Founder of Tengri – told me about how she decided to start her business during a trip to Mongolia. Nancy creates beautifully designed knitwear, using yak wool – a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to cashmere – that looks good, feels good, and does good.

There is a really good description of why Nancy started Tengri and why yak wool is being used instead of cashmere on their crowdfunding page: – please do take a look, and while you are there please do consider backing the campaign.

Half way through the event, we gathered together as a group and told each other a little about our work. This was a great way for us to learn about what the people we hadn’t spoken to are up to.

Networking at i-genius and NFPtweetup Events

Chris from Youth Business International tells us about Global Entrepreneurship Week (Photo: Facebook)

Registering with i-genius is free. To find out more about i-genius please visit their website:



Yesterday was NFPtweetup’s 6th birthday!  NFPtweetup, founded by Rachel Beer, are events for people who work at or with, charities and non-profit organisations and who are interested in harnessing the power of digital and social media, and other new technologies, to achieve their strategic objectives.

I have attended a couple of NFPtweetup’s in the past and have always found the events have given me a lot to think about.

At the event yesterday Luke Williams, Social Media Innovation Officer at RNLI, ran a Failure Swapshop where the audience share their failures and lessons learnt. I had never been to a Failure Swapshop before, and found it a really interesting experience.

Networking at i-genius and NFPtweetup Events

The Failure Swapshop rules

The idea of standing up and sharing something you have failed at sounds really scary, and I wasn’t brave enough to take part last night, but now I have seen what a Failure Swapshop is like and how supportive people are I might be tempted to take part next time!

Matthew Matheson, Collaboration and Creativity Consultant at Nixon McInnes, then got us chatting in small groups about Christmas – the only rule was before each sentence we had to say ‘Yes And’. The next time we had to say ‘Yes But’ before each sentence – this was a lot more difficult, and led to a much more negative conversation. It was a great way to see that when brainstorming, and generally when having conversations, how important it is to encourage ideas rather than shoot them down.

I met really interesting people yesterday at both events and learnt a lot too. Events like i-genius and NFPtweetup are making me realise that networking isn’t so scary after all!

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About Author

Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared. Having worked and volunteered for charities in the UK for over 10 years, Nisha is on a mission to highlight how amazing charities are.

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