A Yorkshire mum of 4 will star in a feature film with BBC Business, as part of their focus on female entrepreneurs in the North and is inviting others to join her at an event that celebrates local women in business.
Catherine Asta Labbett was approached by BBC producers looking to inspire other women to set up their own business after the roaring success of launching Girl Gang Tribe, a members only collective for women who work for themselves or aspire to do so.
Catherine will be filmed and interviewed by the BBC along with members of the Ilkley Tribe, at their next Ilkley Girl Tribe monthly meet up on 21st August.
With the first group only having launched in her hometown of Ilkley in May this year, with just £200 investment used to kick start it, Catherine is now currently rolling out Skipton, Leeds, Manchester and East London. She has recruited women who bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to head these up – Lisa Steane an ex Head Buyer for a Global Brand, Sofie Hepworth an ex Investment banker and Sarah Colbon an ex PR expert – all whom have had children in the last 2 years and quit the corporate world to set up their own business.
Catherine has been asked by the BBC to share her views on the importance of women supporting other women, helping women network with like minded women, and tips on how women can set up their own business.
Catherine said: “There is a whole generation of women who are taking risks and following their dreams and we are a hidden workforce. We are a workforce that connects predominantly on social media, but we need more ‘real life’ connection and to be connecting with the right people – the people who really understand what it feels like to be a girl boss. The reality is that the people who understand us most, are other girl bosses, who are feeling and experiencing the same.
So, what we do at Girl Tribe Gang is we find all those like minded women in your community, all those women who are working from their kitchen table doing work that works for them and their family and we facilitate a space (a stylish one with wine and nibbles) and we connect you with those women and they become your Tribe.”
Catherine, 37, who is a female only Psychotherapist and Success Coach, started her own business 2 years ago – Bringing Sparkle Back – whilst she was working as a Strategist in the NHS. After discovering the downsides of working independently ‘Girl Tribe Gang’ was born last December when Catherine was heavily pregnant with her daughter Kristina and she’s been working hard ever since to bring her idea to life.
Catherine said: “When you launch your own business there is no ‘team’ behind you, no ‘sounding board’, no-one to share your successes or your challenges with and no Christmas party! Feeling you are part of something is a big part of reducing that feeling of isolation and contributes hugely to your overall sense of wellbeing.”
Through her work Catherine says she “has also met women who despite having successful businesses, or great business ideas are lacking in confidence and self-belief and knowledge which massively holds them back.”
Through Catherine’s experience with the women she sees in her clinic, she says that she’s “found that even the most successful business women have confidence issues, suffer from imposter syndrome and generally lack self-belief. So, we’ve stripped back all the things that create unnecessary barriers to networking.
Girl Tribe Gang advertises providing an alternative to traditional corporate networking with ‘no suits, no hotels, no corporate nonsense, no breakfast meetings, no sticky name labels, no eating in front of strangers, no board tables, no awkward introductions, no men and no death by power point presentations philosophy and are all about creating a community of like minded women, an eco-system of support, of encouragement, of women who are embracing work that works for them and of women who totally get what it feels like to be on your own in business.”
She added “The vast majority of women who have joined are women who have quit successful careers, many of whom were at the top of their game, but when it came to flexible working what was offered to them was only a slight adjustment on the traditional 9-5.
A lot of these women not only created and gave birth to a tiny human being but in those early weeks and months of motherhood also set about finding work that works for them and their family which inevitably meant setting up their own business.”
Catherine has clearly seen a gap in the market for an alternative approach to female networking and brings her knowledge and experience as a psychotherapist and success coach and as a strategist into growing her business. She is now looking for women nationwide to help her grow the organisation.
She said: “Our Tribe Bosses need to be social butterflies, socially and digitally savvy, a Girl Boss in their own right and a complete supporter of women and totally up for the challenge of building and growing and nurturing and leading their own TRIBE of Girl Bosses alongside their existing business.
Joining us will raise their profile in their local business community and will massively grow their personal and business network. They’ll get professional and personal development and our Tribe Bosses earn a percentage of the revenue they generate from their Tribe. We are not a franchise and we don’t ask for any money or investment to become a Tribe Boss, just a commitment to help us grow and spread our Girl Tribe Gang wings .”