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Salvation for ladies who lunch.

A chat over a barbeque has led to the setting up of a networking website for businesswomen staying alone in hotels.

Birmingham-based Ray Lehky dreamed up the idea of the site - ladiesaway.com - while talking to his brother-in-law Harry Davies.

Over 300 business women have already registered on the site to meet other business women who are in a city they don't know and want to go out for dinner, a drink or to the theatre.

The Macdonald Burlington Hotel in New Street, Birmingham, is among the hotels throughout the country which is handing out the company's details to business women checking in at reception.

Ray, who lives in Redditch, said the aim was to reach 3,000 members in the UK and abroad. All members are verified for security reasons and the site operates within a secure environment. "My brother-in-law travels quite a bit and we were sat at a BBQ and I asked him what some of his women colleagues did when they were away and he said they stayed in their room and had room service," Ray said.

"I thought that there must be loads of women like that who are staying in hotels in cities they hardly know but would like to get together.

"It is a way of allowing businesswomen to network with other businesswomen when they are staying in hotels around the country.

"The website allows women to register to say where they are staying and recommend restaurants, bars or places to take clients or meet up and go out for a dinner or a drink.

"It is a business network and social network. I liken it to Friends Reunited because without people I have not got a site."

Ray, who is a picture editor at Central News in Birmingham, said the idea was taking off internationally after the website had been featured in the in-flight magazines of British Airways and Emirates and he has recently been interviewed over the idea by Radio Columbia.

"I am looking to expand my hotel database and I am marketing the service in various hotels," the 48-year-old said.

"The Macdonald Burlington Hotel has been particularly helpful. I have left loads of cards in reception and they seem to have gone really quickly which is a good sign!"

Membership is free. Log on to www.ladiesaway.com for further details.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:May 23, 2006
Words:391
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