• Tony Bosworth

Hawkesbury Women in Business helping more and more local women’s businesses start, grow and prosper

When Sarah Cassim started Hawkesbury Women in Business Networking Facebook Group back almost two years ago, the Grose Vale businesswoman didn’t imagine it would now have almost 1000 members.

The group provides a safe space for women in business to share their successes – and also dissect their failures so they can learn from them – as well as discuss any issues they have, both in running and growing their own businesses but also keeping safe online.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, Ms Cassim and Kylie King, founder of Penrith-Blue Mountains Ladies in Business networking Facebook Group, joined forces to bring their communities together at an event held at Richmond Regent Cinema also attended by Federal MP Susan Templeman.

Sarah Cassim MC'd the event and is founder of the Hawkesbury Women in Business Networking Facebook Group

Ms Cassim told the Post the event had been a great success and it allowed the 70 ladies who joined the event to hear from inspiring speakers who shared their stories of the struggles they overcame to chase the success they have always dreamed of.

Both Facebook groups were formed almost two years ago and have a combined following of 2000 local ladies in business.

Each group holds multiple events every month. They were founded to be a safe space for women in business, a community of like-minded women to learn from each other to grow, adapt and evolve not only their businesses but also themselves. “We’ve had the FB page going for 18 months,” Ms Cassim said.

“It’s gradually evolved and it’s all about helping mothers and families with issues and with how they’re feeling. A lot of it comes down to stigmas about what a mother does – there’s a lot of mum guilt out there, juggling everything, the time management, it’s difficult. A lot of it comes down to self-confidence too. Many of them are working from home offices, and with micro businesses and you can become quite insular.”

The online group physically get together at least twice a month where they have a roundtable.

“This approach is very powerful for micro businesses,” says Ms Cassim, “it really brings everyone together.”

The IWD event was a huge success for both of the ladies’ groups.

The speakers were all female business owners - Desiree Taylor, Kristy Moore, Melinda Blundell, Sarah Sydir and Kylie King and the event was MC’d by Ms Cassim.

Sarah Cassim, MP Susan Templeman, and Kylie King, founder of Penrith-Blue Mountains Ladies in Business networking Facebook Group

The two groups raised over $2000 for their chosen local organisations, Pink Finss and DV West who both provide services to women and their families.

Pink Finss support women and their families who are diagnosed with cancer, while DV West supports women and children escaping domestic violence.

The event was a real success with great feedback from attendees, and the two groups plan to make it a yearly event.

“We’re really filling a need, to help support mothers in business,” Ms Cassim said. “We work together and that means small one person operations/businesses, right up to larger local success stories, and those people are also there to help our members with good advice,” Ms Cassim said.

If you’re a woman running a large or small Hawkesbury business – or even if you’ve just got an idea and don’t know where to go next - do check out the Hawkesbury Women in Business Networking Facebook Group – it is an excellent group to belong to.

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