Where it all started, Proud Business meet ups in Brighton are located upstairs at the Earth and Stars with Simon.
The second branch, Adam is starting up a Proud Business network in Glasgow.
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Who We Are
About Proud Business
Whether you’re a freelancer, self-employed, about to go freelance or run your own business, we invite you all to our LGBTQ Business Meet Ups.
Proud Business is a LGBTQ meet up group for business owners and freelancers, born out of concern that there are many self employed individuals out there who may not have the representation or support that they need.
The meetups are casual and apolitical, focused on creating a safe space for people to share their experiences, challenges and ultimately find like-minded people.
What are your events?
Over a pint or two we discuss the challenges and triumphs and tips and tricks around communicating our LGBTQ identity to clients and suppliers, as well as how we can send positive messages about diversity and inclusion.
We host open discussions and encourage you to bring your questions, frustrations, thoughts and wins to chat them through in a safe, friendly space.
Friendly meet up with a short intro and then informal discussions. Hosted by Simon Batchelar and Adam Bastock, small business owners who have LGBTQ identities and believe that they should be able to be open and comfortable in their self-created workplace – no matter their sexual preference or gender orientation.
Where are your events?
At the pub! For now we have events in Brighton, and soon in Glasgow too. Let us know if you want one in your city and we’ll make it happen.
What are your aims?
Our aim is to create a safe and welcoming space for LGBTQ people who have an identity that they might not feel confident communicating to others in a business context so we can support each other and work together on effective strategies.
To share the challenges and successes individuals have experienced in being open about their identity in a professional context in a casual and relaxed environment.
Provide a supportive space where people can share their stories of success or stress, and work on methods of dealing with clients and managing expectations with people who can empathise and support them.
We are also keen to support and encourage those looking to take the leap into self employment to do so with confidence and skills to do so.
Create an environment where everyone can be truly comfortable with sharing their LGBTQ identities with others in their workplaces and can actively encourage others to do the same.
How it Started
Like all good ideas, it formed in a pub.
Simon and Adam were chatting over a few pints and soon realised that there was plenty of support and protection out there for employees and employers, but there was a dire lack of representation of LGBTQ issues within the self employed.
Why it Started
We wanted to create a self supporting network of people who can help each other in times of need – whether that’s how to face with homophobic comments from a client, asking questions about taking the leap into freelance life or just sharing the pain of tax return season.
Without the support of an HR department and formal regulation protecting against discrimination for freelance and self-employed people, it can sometimes feel like you can’t be yourself in a professional context. There are often perceptions surrounding ‘coming out’ to customers, suppliers or even work colleagues.
Where are we going?
We’re still finding out!
That’s why we want you to get in touch and start conversations and share ideas.
We want to hear from more self-employed people to understand how we can best support them, rather than prescribing a fix that no-one wants or needs.
If you have a specific struggle or story, or would like to host a meetup in your area – get in touch.
Our core objective is to help give people confidence to be who they are in their business, no matter who they speak to.