Today we are introducing you to Kate and Nicolette who run We Are Womxn and deliver evidence-based health programs for school-aged girls across Perth WA.
Kate and Nicolette noticed a lack of evidence-based health programs for young girls in Western Australia. With a vision for a world free from women’s stigma, they decided to create a program themselves. Between them, Kate and Nicolette bring experience in teaching and health promotion. This makes them the perfect duo to run their small business, We Are Womxn, and offer five programs to schools across the state.
“We are extremely grateful to have Many Rivers help and we would not have been able to do this without our business coach Colin’s wealth of business knowledge.”
Read Kate’s take on her business journey so far.
Our business is called We Are Womxn. It is for young women and by young women. Our vi
sion is a world free from women’s stigma. Our mission is to channel the power of collaboration and education to reduce women’s stigma.
We do this by bringing evidence-based health programs to young women living in Western Australia. We have five programs that we deliver to schools across the state. The topics we cover are consent, sexual health, menstrual health, relationships and social media. This is offered to public and private schools and primary and secondary aged kids. We launched in February this year.
I am a health promotion practitioner, as is Nicolette. Nicolette is also a qualified primary school teacher. My background is in health promotion with government and not-for-profits, writing programs for young people.
The reason we went into business was to work towards our vision and mission. It was something we are both passionate about and saw that there was a real lack of this education in WA, especially for women.
We Are Womxn
We have a few options for how we deliver this program. The most popular is the hour-long workshop which isn’t optimal, but it seems to work best for schools’ schedules. Then the sexual health program is offered over a half-day workshop. Our favourite option is what we call ‘pyjama night’ which goes for two hours and can also be delivered during the day. We have a smaller group of students who sit down with us to share a meal. We have talking points for each of the five programs, and we really let the girls guide the conversation. This smaller group setting is very different to the one-hour workshops that are presented more like lectures. We are also working with Headspace in Fremantle to also offer an after-school program.
We have one volunteer, Alexis, who is a psychology student. She assists with our blog and she is also in the process of developing parental resources. Her role is very varied, and we give her some freedom to take on what she wants to learn. We really let her control her own journey with us. She is so passionate and full of energy and that keeps us motivated too.
Working with Many Rivers
Colin has been mentoring us since December. He has provided us general business support and put me in contact with Many Rivers pro bono legal providers. They helped us write up our Terms of Service Agreement and they are currently writing up our Employment Volunteer Contract.
Colin has been great and has answers to any questions we have. Neither of us has business experience and he has just guided us through the whole process. We wouldn’t have been able to do it without him. He has helped us with the banking and financial stuff and marketing. Even just navigate the day-to-day business obstacles that come up. We are extremely grateful to have Many Rivers help and we would not have been able to do this without Colin’s wealth of business knowledge.
It has been all so great. I guess at times when we felt that we were trying really hard and not getting anywhere, Colin was always reminding us that we were on the right path and doing the right things. That kept us motivated.
I think the biggest challenge to date is building trust with the schools because they are trust-based. We really have to rely on word-of-mouth between schools to get referrals. It was initially slow and hard to get schools on board but now it is really picking up and we are getting more and more bookings and inquiries. We are getting radio interviews as well with RTR FM and ABC.
The biggest success is being able to meet these young girls and educate them about their bodies. That is the most rewarding aspect of it. Educating them and teaching them how to set boundaries with themselves and other people.
For me, it has been the realisation that you never stop thinking about your business. It is not a 9-5 job, there is always a million things in your head that you need to do but it is a lot more rewarding.
We are hoping to go regional and we are applying for funding to allow us to go to regional schools. We are also looking at setting up an online service for parents with resources so that they can be on the same page as their kids. In the long term, we are looking to have a male practitioner to offer this to male students.
Thank You Kate
We look forward to working with you as your business journey continues. Stay updated with Kate and Nicolette’s business journey by following We Are Womxn on Facebook. Stay updated on Instagram by following their programs @we.are.womxn.lets.talk, or join the discussion with @we.are.womxn.movement.
We love to encourage people to take the first step towards kick-starting their small business ideas.