IT’S a new year and a new committee for an Andover business group.

Andover Women in Business (AWIB) plans to grow and help more local women in business in the coming months as the club embarks on its 30th year.

New club president, Karen Hamilton, said: “It has been a rollercoaster 18 months for AWIB, with the lockdown stopping the face-to-face meetings plus social gatherings, together with several members retiring, we continued throughout the year by zoom which for many reasons was a great support to members”

Karen said she is very determined to help the club thrive and to use her experiences to support other local businesses.

“It has been a bumpy ride with Covid-19 and the lockdown happening but with the committee and businesses we have now, we plan to grow and make a difference locally,” she said..

“We already have some inspirational speakers lined up for the coming year as well as social events, albeit from the comfort of your own home or office. Covid- 19 has had an effect but it’s made us adapt and find other ways to work which in itself is a great skill to have.”

The group - which began following an advertisement for a meeting of businesswomen at the Ashley Court Hotel was placed in this newspaper in May 1992 - is aimed at businesswomen running their own business or working in other organisations and offers support, not just from a working perspective but also sometimes a personal one as well.

The idea was the brainchild of Yvonne Povah, joint proprietor of the hotel. Yvonne thought, as a local businesswoman herself, that a club would be an excellent way for local businesswomen to unite, exchange views and more importantly to provide support and encouragement where needed.

Karen continued: “A question that often crops up is why a networking group for women in business? It’s to provide a support network to other businesswomen from a woman’s view. We don’t exclude men and in fact many of our guest speakers are men, as well having some joint events at times.”

Karen has chosen The Abel Foundation as her charity of the year, for which the group will try to raise funds and awareness for as part of their activities.

If you would like to join or find out more about AWIB, please visit the website at or contact Karen at