I’m regularly asked what makes I AM WOMAN so very special and I always feel challenged to mention the one thing, because there are so many things that make it so very unique. We often get confused as just another network, but we are a space where networking naturally happens, but networking in isolation is not what I AM WOMAN is about.

I AM WOMAN is so very rich in learning and March 2017 is so very special for us as we launch our online ASPIRE programme that binds together our business club events, mentoring, master classes and publishing activities.

We are an ILM approved centre and so when you are a member of I AM WOMAN you can also access free ILM student membership, this means that our members can also access the ILM’s learning zone and partake in a host of associated learning and networking events.

From as far back as I can remember my mantra has been “if it’s going to be, then it’s up to me!” and entrepreneurs recognise very early on that they are the ones driving their own bus, otherwise their life will just be parked up! I watch so many women start-up in business doing something they love, but haven’t got a clue how to make money out of it and that’s where I AM WOMAN steps in and helps them step-up their lives.

My passion is helping women to flourish as a successful, confident and learned entrepreneur. When women are dominating the consumer spend by 87% I am confused why women just won’t take more positive action to support other women in business. If we did this we could change families, communities and the global economy for women.

Studying for me did not come naturally and I was a late starter. Why don’t they teach you in school how to learn? Once I discovered my ‘how’ I thrived, achieving NLP master Practitioner, then graduating in Personnel Management, then an MBA study followed, as did and MA in Entrepreneurship that won me the ‘Dissertation of The Year Award’ in Durham University for breaking into a new field of entrepreneurial personality research.

For nearly two decades I worked at the high and fast growth end of the sectors within Welsh Government funded programmes. The work was as challenging as it was rewarding at so many levels. When I reached 49 I felt a wind of change blowing through my life. From the age of seven I was running some business or fundraising initiative or other and so facing the big 50 ahead of me I just knew I wanted a change.

I took a year out thinking I was going to climb the biggest mountains, break records, gain even more qualifications, but in fact what my body was screaming out for was rest, inner peace and to connect with the great joy of the ordinary and simple things in life that I had so overlooked in my constant races to keep achieving. In that year out I started thinking about myself as a business woman and what I was lacking in developing a new idea and taking it to the market. Support if was available was scattered and usually given by people who had little success in what they preached. The networks I visited felt either like Dad’s Army or fluffy and I certainly needed neither approach.

At the end of my year out I was ready to birth I AM WOMAN and it just had to be different:

And that’s how I AM WOMAN was born! It’s been over 6 years since it was born, but I feel the I AM WOMAN story is just starting and there are so many chapters to write, but I feel sure there will be an I AM WOMAN happy ever after ending.

Cheryl Bass, Founder & Managing Director