ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Businesswomen in Rockford got a chance to network at a meeting designed to foster connections between minority professionals on Thursday.

Dr. Sheila Hill, founder of Think Big Minority and Women-Owned Business Accelerator, organized the event which took place at Ambiance Cuisine Catering & Cocktails, 307 S Main Street.

“You need to be identified and recognized for the greatness of the work that you’re doing in the workplace, in the marketplace and the community,” Hill told attendees. “I want you to be recognized for that, and I want other people to see all the great work that you’re doing.”

Hill says the event and others like it are vital for the success of women in the business world.

“Women rule, we’re taking over the world, right? So, we need some of those tools and resources so that we can really stand strong and that we can also break down barriers that may be there before us, hindering us from being successful or being the best person, or individual, that we can be,” she explained. “And I think right now, while we have so many women entrepreneurs, they also can use extra assistance and just building their business and being sustainable in our community.”

Hill said she plans to host multiple educational and how-to luncheons, each focused on a unique topic.

Thursday’s topic was the real estate market, and participants were able to hear from speaker Staci Brown, a local realtor, as she shared her insights on how to be successful.

“There’s power in community and there’s power in networking, so you’re better together than you are apart,” she said.

Hill said she hopes to hold the luncheons on every third Thursday of every month. The next meeting is scheduled for November 16th and will focus on small businesses.