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Job title: BAAID – CIC, Team Facilitator, Trainer
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

VIVO Team was established in November 2012 as a market expansion of Renée Safrata's consulting business started in 1987. The company is a training and development company that builds teams and develops leaders, offering a web-based platform to companies who invest in their people. VIVO’s customers want to remove the complexity out of training and development while having the analytics to track success. The VIVO platform diagnoses, trains and analyzes project-team productivity then provides rich training content for improved team performance and business results.

In 2013, Renée secured VIVO’s WEConnect International certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) and she starting finding opportunities almost immediately. Says Renée:

"Being an ambitious female entrepreneur with 28 years of business experience, it seemed like a no-brainer. Certified - who knew and why not? The day my certificate arrived I decided my philosophy would be to 'show up.' In my first year I went to every conference available and in addition to taking-it-all-in for a deeper understanding of the opportunity, I pitched my business and stepped up to speak on panels. 'Showing up' has resulted in a huge network of fellow women-owned businesses, corporates, VIVO's Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the opportunity to speak in 2014, 2015 and now again, this November at the upcoming conference."

In the past year, VIVO had three major contracts with fellow WEConnect International certified WBEs – TPD, Douglas Marketing Group and Imprint Plus. All connections originated at WEConnect International conferences including the Canada national conference in Montreal in 2014 and the WEConnect International Day conference in Philadelphia in 2013.

Safrata Renee"I often joke that most of VIVO’s opportunities are from DW3 (Drinking Wine With Women)," says Renée. "We have ongoing relationships with these fellow WBEs and we continue to connect each other to new opportunities."

Since 2014, VIVO trained teams within TPD, Douglas Marketing Group and Imprint Plus. Beyond that, they negotiated a channel partner deal with TPD where VIVO provided them with ongoing content for their marketing team and they worked to provide VIVO with sales opportunities. VIVO has also hired Douglas Marketing Group as our Marketing Consultants to develop a marketing plan for VIVO. Says Renée:

"Women business owners understand the value of developing relationships inside and outside of their business. In each of these cases, the owners quickly recognized the value of having their teams functioning at a high level as a way of increasing engagement in their workplaces and getting the business results they needed. Within four months one of these clients increased communication by 22 percent and meeting efficiency by 12 percent in addition with every dollar spent two were returned. That’s a win-win-win!"

The impact of these business connections on VIVO has been revenue from new sources, increased team and leader analytics and the expertise/burgeoning opportunity of working as partners with fellow WBES. WEConnect International certification has also given the company a platform to promote itself. This summer, Renée completed three successful web events, as well as the yearly conference speaking opportunities.

What’s next for VIVO? Renée has ambitious goals ahead:

"The future is bright for VIVO Team. We are in the midst of rapid growth as we work to secure our first large corporate client as well as export to the United States. We're currently working with Alpha Global Experts (also WEConnect International certified) on an export strategy. As we continue to set our sights on the U.S., we recently attended the BWIT trade mission to Atlanta and have several additional trips planned to the United States in 2016/17. WEConnect International certification has been a big player in our growth and we continue to look for create ways to use our certification and expand our network."

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