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Oxford: Rebellious Enterprise Community retains on-line connections

With conferences and local networking groups being cancelled in the couple of weeks prior to the lockdown, Cordelia Kate saw an opportunity to start an online network to keep business owners connected.

She did this on the premise that ‘social distancing does not mean social disconnection’, and hence The Rebellious Business Network was born.

For the last two and a half years, the online business coach has run webinars online so setting up the online network was a straightforward task.

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She said: “I only advertised it for three days by shouting about it on social media and we had 20 businesses rock up to our first call.

“Since then, the network has grown to 124 businesses and we are still growing strong ten weeks in.

“What’s really awesome about this network is it’s like a real online community.

“We’re all getting to know each other really well and learn from each other and really support each other through some seriously tough times.

“A lot of our networkers describe it as a midweek pick-me-up which is music to my ears as that was the whole intention.

“We have all sorts of small business owners from graphic designers to yoga teachers and everything in between.

“Alongside the fun networking that happens each week we also have a spotlight speaker to bring our rebellious networkers some tangible, tactical advice, tips and marketing tricks to help them with their businesses in the online space.

“Each week we have all sorts of speakers, including: a branding coach, a LinkedIn specialist, a digital marketing specialist, a camera confidence coach and so many more.”

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Speaking about the name of the network, Miss Kate said: “Being rebellious is about going against the grain and doing your own thing.

“Entrepreneurs are a bit rebellious, we follow our own thing and like the philosophy behind the rebellious side and being our authentic selves.”

Miss Kate, whose job sees her help people run successful online businesses, said that she has seen an ‘incredible shift happening’ throughout the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.

She added: “Online business used to be fairly eyebrow-raising term that was connected with scams and burnt fingers but now, there’s a shift happening as it’s becoming the new normal to run a business online.

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“Everyone knows what Zoom is now, everyone knows what a webinar is and many people have been turning to online courses to keep themselves sane.

“The Rebellious Business Network has been acting as a platform, even through these unprecedented times.

“Our networkers have been sourcing clients from inside our network and using the Facebook group to promote their business.

“It really has a feel of ‘community over competition’ and I have to say, I’m incredibly proud of what we have created.

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“Covid-19 may be the reason this network began, but I’m confident we will be around for a long time after too.

“Like many other silver linings that have appeared around this thick black cloud, this network has definitely been one of the Covid-19 success stories, not only in itself, but also in helping other businesses to pivot and keep growing when times have been very tough.”

Prior to joining the business world, Miss Kate was a nurse at the John Radcliffe hospital.

She discovered an online education company in 2017 and through was it able to leave nursing behind for a new venture in the business sector.

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“I was supporting people and absolutely loved it, I was asked to be an ambassador for an online business academy,” she said.

She coached about 1,300 members in the space of a year, helping build websites and analysing strategy.

At the beginning of this year, Miss Kate left that behind to work on her own business consultancy firm.

The Rebellious Business Network meets every Wednesday at 10.30am on Zoom, with each session lasting for about two hours.

On joining The Rebellious Business Network, an invitation will be made to join its Facebook community, where connections with members can be made and training can be accessed.

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