Now with 520 members, all self-employed women running their own small business, the group became so popular that its founder has this week launched an accompanying website to take what she started further.
Blind entrepreneur/author and 'Secret Millionaire', Liz Jackson MBE from Great Guns Marketing who spoke at the WiBBLE launch event on Tuesday 25th September said that WiBBLE was “a much-needed resource for self-employed women working from home which, frankly, the economy so desperately needs.”
Cheryl founded WiBBLE as an “affordable yet valuable” alternative to the plethora of pastel-coloured formal-looking sites aimed at women in business charging between £60-£200 per year to sign-up. Armed with a vibrant and bold WiBBLE brand identity inspired by Wonder Woman and a collaboration and referral forum, learning library of blog posts and membership packages ranging from £7 to £47 a year, WiBBLE aims to fill a gap in affordable support for self-employed women, often sole traders, who are working from home. With more self-employed women than ever before*, there is clearly a need for a solution that helps get rid of the isolation-factor with a community, while enabling women via practical tips and guidance.
“With WiBBLE, I wanted to create a brand that was different which spoke to women of all ages, some of them mums, some of them not – all of them amazing, self-employed and running their own brilliant little enterprises,” explains Cheryl. “A site for wonderful women – for the “wonder woman” who juggles umpteen different responsibilities and has had the guts to start up a business of her own but could now do with some guidance, support and encouragement to make it work.”
While researching the business Cheryl discovered that most women's networks seemed to be aimed at female executives or larger woman-owned businesses and followed a more traditional format of face-to-face networking. While in-person networking is vital (WiBBLE too is holding regular events including WiBBLE Giggles and WiBBLE Nibbles) WiBBLE is providing self-paced online training and tutorials, downloadable toolkits, a promotional platform and online networking via the forum and Facebook groups. “WiBBLE is a social business platform providing women who are working alone from home with a safe hub to join so they can learn, teach, give and take,” adds Cheryl. “As such, WiBBLE is a place where self-employed women can find customers, be sent customers, learn how to keep customers and achieve goals – all from one place.”
WiBBLE was founded by author/ghostwriter and business woman, Cheryl Rickman (38) who set up her first business aged 26 and has since written five books on the subject. Her first book, The Small Business Start-Up Workbook, has a Foreword written by the late great Dame Anita Roddick while the UK's Digital Champion, Martha Lane Fox kindly wrote the Foreword to her most recent book, The Digital Business Start-Up Workbook. In between, Cheryl has ghostwritten books for various business leaders, including a 'Dragon' from BBC's Dragons' Den. However, launching WiBBLE has reignited her passion and purpose – to inspire, inform, encourage and empower women in business. “That's why I wrote my first book,” says Cheryl. “WiBBLE has enabled me to find and pursue that purpose once more.”
And with great response. WiBBLErs have reported improved confidence, more sales and a greater awareness of potential solutions. “I am incredibly excited about the brand new website" says Cheryl - "and how it can positively impact women who are working on their own or in very small teams on their own small businesses- from cupcake makers and dog walkers, to hairdressers and photographers.”
"Women are brilliant at sharing, encouraging and supporting each other, and WiBBLE gives them a fun place to do so. With 37% of businesses last year set up by women – up from 10% the previous year – there has never been a better time to be an enterprising woman or a WiBBLEr.”
To find out more, visit the website here - www.wibble.us