An online and offline business community designed to educate, empower and enable female business ownership
The Business Girls Network, is an online and offline community for women in business, centred on the provision of education, empowerment and enabling self-employed women. Maidenhead Business Girls, the flagship group is a community driven business support group for ladies offering support and advice regardless of the stage of your own business journey. The Business Girls Network combines friendly, supportive and vibrant Facebook groups with opportunities to network and learn in person, the group provides a unique way to build your business and raise your profile. Founded in 2014 by Amanda Ayres, the network is credible and growing, with a vibrant community of over 3500 businesswomen, representing everything from cake bakers to wedding dress designers to vintage upholsterers. It has become the ‘go-to’ place for women in business.
We know that the life of an entrepreneur can be challenging. Our mission is quite simple; we believe if we empower, educate and enable women, you can turn your dream into a reality and you can build a business that you are proud of. Think of the Business Girls as your virtual team! We are here to help you.
- It’s very exciting setting up a business but very quickly the reality turns into a confusing and isolating place?
- You are brimming with excitement and ideas and then you realise you have nowhere to turn and nobody to ask?
- You think you’re onto a winner and then you talk to someone or a family member who doesn’t believe in you and thinks you are just playing at being an entrepreneur?
- You want to ‘make it happen’ but you just don’t know where to start?
- You feel completely stuck, fed up and feel like giving up?
- You started your business because you thought it would give you much more time and you would be able to fit it in around family life?
- You realise that you feel even more overwhelmed than you did before you started your business?
- You feel isolated and lonely because you no longer work in an environment where you feel part of a team and can’t talk to anybody about what you are doing?
- You feel like you are going round and round in circles, but never making any real progress?
- You hadn’t taken into consideration that you need to be Chief Sales, Finance, Marketing, Business Development, Admin and so the list goes on person but you don’t have all the skills?
The good news is, you are not alone! We all feel like this at some point or another. You are definitely not the only person that feels this way!
The harsh truth
Building a business is like walking around with your eyes closed…..you feel scared, alone and don’t know what you are going to bump into next. You feel exhausted, and overwhelmed. At the same time you feel exhilarated and excited! Confusing – right? Most of the time you are thinking “what the hell am I doing this for?!”
Building a business takes courage. You have to be brave, persistent and resilient. Not easy to do when you are on your own. We know that if you get inspired, build a network of support around you, you will keep going. You will feel empowered. You will keep the faith.
“You’ve got to hold on, grit your teeth, keep going and not give up. The successful people are the one’s that stay on the journey”
In Amanda’s own words:
“For me this isn’t just about networking. I didn’t set out to create a networking group and I don’t think it is. We have created a community of amazing entrepreneurial women who have found ways of communicating, in a way that women have always done well but seems to sometimes get forgotten about in the world of business. As women, I believe we find an emotional way of engaging and this is something that is in built in us. By connecting on social media in this way with other like minded women it naturally creates opportunities both personally and professionally. The spirit and vibrancy of the group is like nothing else I have experienced! It’s full of ‘real’ women, experiencing ‘real’ life and this is honest and refreshing”
How can we help?
We are here to help you every step of the way. Well actually it’s not just us, it’s the women in the community. You can be part of our Facebook group for FREE. However, you can join ‘The Members Club’ and this gives you access to the Facebook group for members, which is where most of the action happens. You will find:
- Weekly ‘live’ sessions in the group. These will cover; ‘Education’ – ‘how to’ topics on just about everything you need to know from social media, email marketing, perfecting your elevator pitch to those pesky finance and admin issues, we would prefer to ignore. ‘Health and Wellbeing’ – we know that if we don’t look after ourselves, we burn out and that makes our entrepreneurial journey even harder. ‘Inspiration’ – real life stories, interviews and Q & As from ‘real’ women who have been there and done it. The sessions will be hosted by members of our community, as well as guest experts dropping into the group.
- All sessions will be stored in a library in a private members area on the website so you can access them anytime. This will become an invaluable resource for you to refer back to whenever you need.
- You get to network online and offline with like-minded ladies who are all experiencing the same highs and lows that you are.
- Monthly challenges in the members group. So far this year we have had a Facebook Live Challenge, an Instagram Challenge and a Mailchimp Challenge!
- All you have to do is hop over to the private group and get your regular dose of what you need to help you keep on moving forward!
- We will be posting regular articles on our blog too. If you would like to contribute something that you think our community would love to read, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We particularly want to publish inspiring stories about the journey of a female entrepreneur. If you would love to share your story with us please get in touch at email@example.com.
How does it work?
Anyone with a business can join the groups. It doesn’t matter if you’re a fully fledged limited company or a sole trader setting out on the first part of your business journey, we welcome everyone. The Facebook group and meet ups are just for women.
It’s free to join the Facebook groups and be a part of the online community. As a member of the Facebook group you have the option to share posts, ask questions and engage in the discussion. You can also choose to become a full member or pay to attend events as a guest. You can attend twice as a guest, before deciding whether to take the leap and sign up!
For more information on membership click here.
We’re not just another networking group where you ‘sell yourself’ to strangers.
In fact, our groups are perfect if the idea of networking with a room full of strangers sends you into a tailspin.
Our members feel they’re part of a supportive community and the Facebook group is a great way to learn about anything and everything affecting a small to medium business. It’s full of ladies from all walks of life, at all stages of their business development journey. No question is too silly to ask and the varied community means that you’ll probably find someone else in the group has had a similar problem or experience.
Even if you’re just starting your business journey, or you don’t feel confident about promoting yourself, we encourage you to join our Facebook Groups anyway. There’s nothing wrong in being a ‘lurker’. Come and watch and learn from the rest of the community, and when it’s your turn to step into the limelight and attend a meet up or become a paid member, we’ll welcome you!