IT’S a man’s world in business with gender pay gaps still stubbornly existing despite attempts to break it down.

Or is it?

A new networking group has been launched specifically aimed at offering businesswomen a supportive environment in which to grow their enterprises.

The new Tendring Businesswoman’s Network will offer host of practical masterclasses, opportunities to promote businesses and learn new skills.

The meetings will give businesswomen a chance to network with others from across the area in what has been described as a safe and supportive environment.

Nadine Gamble, who is the co-ordinator for the Tendring BWN, said: “I feel quite passionately about women supporting women.

“Having been to networking events dominated by businessmen, I know how intimidating it can feel.

“The BWN will be more relaxed. It’s not a corporate environment.

“Instead, it’s a place where women can showcase their businesses, learn from others and share ideas.”

The BWN already has thriving branches including in Colchester and Earls Colne and further afield in Norwich and Bury St Edmunds.

Nadine, who is a distributor for Utility Warehouse, welcomed the chance to run one in Tendring after struggling to find a networking support group in the area.

She said: “There are lots of networking opportunities in the towns surrounding Tendring but not many in this area.

“Small businesses need a voice, particularly in Tendring, and I want to be able to offer that opportunity through the BWN.”

Statistics reveal there are 9,791 self-employed people in Tendring, making up ten per cent of the working population.

Figures from Tendring Council also show that in 2017, 630 new businesses were launched in Tendring.

Nationally, 15 per cent of the working population class themselves as self-employed.

Despite the large number of self-employed people, there are few networking groups dedicated to Tendring, said Nadine.

She added: “There are more people working for themselves from home now and with news that big corporate companies and retailers are in trouble, this number is likely to continue to grow.

“Whether you run your own business through choice or because you’ve lost your job, it can be scary as well as exciting.

“When I started running my own business I had never been to a networking group but it is a great way to meet new people, develop contacts and learn.

“That’s what we want to offer at the BWN.”

The BWN Tendring has been welcomed by Tendring Council, which runs its own monthly business meeting and offers small businesses in the area opportunities to apply for funding through the SME Growth Fund.

Zoe Fairley, Tendring Council’s Cabinet member for investment and growth, said: “We are thrilled the BWN has chosen to launch a new branch in Tendring.

“This area is full of successful small businesses, many of which are run by women.

“A group dedicated to helping women succeed in business has to be welcomed.”

The BWN Tendring met for the first time at the Lifehouse Spa in Thorpe-le-Soken on Tuesday.

The first masterclass will be on health and wellness and will be given by Sue Davis, wellness director at Lifehouse Spa.