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Going Solo: AllBright Academy unveils free online learning course for aspiring freelancers

AllBright Academy, a free digital programme designed to help women run successful businesses, smash corporate glass ceilings and build ‘work sisterhoods’, is announcing a new 10-week course aimed specifically at early-stage or aspiring freelancers, as well as those who want to work in a structure that is flexible and self-created.

Starting on 9th September, the new online course for freelancers, which is free and open to all women whether or not they are an AllBright member, consists of five key modules, including guidance on working in a freelance environment, building marketing strategies, pitching to clients, time management and managing your professional reputation. Delivering the online course content is a line-up of impressive speakers including author Annie Ridout; Liv Little, founder of gal-dem; art director Krystal Neuvill; author and success coach Jody Shield; Gaylene Gould, Creative Director, presenter and Cultural Ambassador for London; and sex educator Alix Fox.

More than ever before, women in the UK are enjoying the flexibility associated with self-employment. According to the Office for National Statistics, as of June this year, the number of self-employed workers in the UK has reached 4.96 million, with women accounting for 1.67 million.

Statistics also show that over the past 10 years, the number of freelance women has soared by 63%, with more women becoming their own bosses than ever before. AllBright hopes to support this trajectory by creating a course open to any woman considering life as a freelancer, with no limit on the number of applicants able to participate.

AllBright has enrolled nearly 5,000 women to the Academy since launching its first two courses last November - ‘For Entrepreneurs and ‘For Executives’. These courses will continue for a second year, providing insights from new and returning faculty members including Sinead Burke, broadcaster and activist; Facebook’s VP EMEA Nicola Mendelsohn CBE; Cassandra Stavrou, the founder of Propercorn; WPP’s Karen Blackett OBE; Alice Bentinck MBE, founder of start-up accelerator Entrepreneur First; and Kathryn Parsons, founder of Decoded.

The Academy is supported by regional networking groups run by local ambassador volunteers. Ambassadors like executive coach Poppy Delbridge and Former CEO of The Oxford Group and executive coach, Sheena Porter, who will be coordinating 30 London ‘work sisterhood’ meet-ups.

Anna Jones, Co-Founder of AllBright said, “AllBright’s aim is to provide women with the tools and the network they need to succeed whether you’re an executive in a firm or working for yourself. During my career, I have hired and worked with many freelancers, and we know that many of our members and community form part of this growing group of women who face similar challenges on a daily basis; we’re therefore delighted to be offering a programme specifically designed to meet their needs.

Alix Fox, writer and educator, said, "Freelancing can be lonely. I was used to being an independent, self-employed specialist writer and broadcaster. I went from collaborating with colleagues in an office, to feverishly pitching at my kitchen table, alone. I viewed other journalists not as my fellows, but competitors. Alongside the thrills of independent creativity, freelance work can create isolation. It made me so low, but over time, I learned the importance of using resources like AllBright. It helped me to recognise that other freelancers weren’t my enemies, they were my allies."

Thanks to spaces like AllBright, I now have a network of likeminded women who frequently bounce ideas off one another and support each other wholeheartedly. It has enhanced my professional (and personal) life immeasurably. I feel a far stronger, safer and happier person being part of a motivational and inspirational group of women. Freelance life doesn’t have to be lonely, and I’m excited to be passing on my learnings to the community.”

 

Kate Shaw
Article by Kate Shaw
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