Next stop: Anywhere you want.
Catherine (Kathini) Jonathan is a business-owning mother writing her own story in sharing the success stories of others. She’s a #mumbitious entrepreneur making things happen thanks to the power of community and technology.
Catherine Jonathan, Founder Emerging Brand Africa and Emerge Edition, DWEN Member
Catherine (Kathini) Jonathan is a business-owning mother writing her own story in sharing the success stories of others. June 2023 marks her fifth year in Australia, having migrated from Africa in 2018. She’s a #mumbitious entrepreneur making things happen thanks to the power of community and technology.
A member of Mums & Co and DWEN, the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network, while also preparing to relaunch a business media network, Emerging Brand Africa and Emerge Edition she founded, Catherine shares how she is making connections that matter.
Trying to establish a new network as a migrant to Australia is tough!
Living in a regional area like Geelong, VIC, can sometimes make you feel like an outsider compared to metropolitan areas. Working from home and being a mother of two children can be isolating! Therefore I’m always searching for someone to share ideas and support. Motherhood can also be isolating at times - with a 16-year-old and a three-year-old, which I had when my business was still very new, I experienced that compounding isolation.
As an African, motherhood and parenting are a communal part of life, reflecting the African saying, "It takes a village to raise a child." That's true for finding Mums & Co - raising strong mothers in business. I've found it essential to get out there and find a supportive community that will welcome you and introduce you to new people. Then take that step! You have to show up and share your unique story. That's why I'm so proud to share diverse stories of leadership in Australia and across the world through Emerge Edition.
Connections through community give my business vibrancy and energy
Being part of networks such as Mums & Co and DWEN are vital for my wellbeing. For example:
- Locally, it was so nice to have coffee with Carrie Kwan from Mums & Co in Melbourne recently and from that, I’m looking forward to my debut business pitch with Mums & Co later in June!
- Globally, being part of DWEN connects me to a larger global network of female entrepreneurs, business leaders, and industry experts from around the world who are sharing knowledge and collaborating. Both are simply invaluable!
As an African woman living in Australia, I believe it's important to connect people across the world, fostering a sense of borderlessness. We can connect wherever we are, bridging different industries and cultures globally. I’m based in Victoria, Australia and represent the African diaspora globally so my first step for resources tends to be online.
Being a member of DWEN helps me achieve this by providing a platform for networking with like-minded women entrepreneurs, offering access to valuable resources, and presenting opportunities to learn from experts and leaders in various fields. This interconnectedness empowers me to grow my business, expand my reach, and create meaningful connections worldwide.
As a bootstrapped new venture, I’m looking to grow in a way that I can afford. So I’m on the lookout for support that can help me grow my customers, save time and make more money. For example, from joining DWEN I met Priyanka from Dell Technologies, who I've reached out to several times since starting my business. She's been a great help in choosing the right products when we needed to upgrade and making sure they fit our budget. Dell Care has also been responsive to my inquiries and stayed in touch to ensure everything was running smoothly! With the money saved, I re-invest in our technology systems especially the digital publishing platform while some goes into print for the old school paper- magazine lovers.
I wouldn't be sharing this story today with Mums & Co if DWEN hadn't created the opportunity to celebrate success. It is so important to build connections through these networks because of how they can lead to moments for business-owning women to come together and celebrate. Take me for an example - I’m celebrating five years in Australia and two years in business this year - it feels unreal! I can't believe how quickly time has flown by.
I think I spent a significant portion of it juggling new motherhood while setting up a business. I think as women, we see our parents and other women juggling so much and doing it "effortlessly". My hot tip: join communities like DWEN and Mums & Co to make connections that matter to your business and your wellbeing and create that sense of, 'Hey, I can do it too!’
For more than a decade, DWEN has brought women entrepreneurs together from around the world to help them connect, scale their businesses, and ultimately succeed. Join DWEN today for free access to a global network of women entrepreneurs and valuable resources to grow your business.