Geelong Women’s Business Club

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GWBX x Geelong Women’s Business Club

In 2019, Merrin Schnabel launched the Geelong Women’s Business Club to help inspire more women and empower them to start their own entrepreneurial journeys.  Merrin has seen enormous growth in her events, which are now rolling out with high-level celebrity speakers.

These events ensure people walk away feeling empowered and inspired, having gained so much knowledge and wisdom to implement in their daily lives and businesses.

GWBC is Australia’s fastest-growing networking event that has seen so much success that they’re now rolling the events out nationally, all around Australia, and internationally – heading to New Zealand this year!  Geelong Women’s Business Club is a safe space where people meet, network, and collaborate with notable people, industry experts, and thought leaders who guide members to reach their maximum potential in terms of career, business, and personal life.


Tell us your story of how you came to be empowering women through powerful networking events?

Merrin is a high-profile Australian influencer, speaker, presenter and media identity who is also a professional mindset, life and business coach, entrepreneur, business owner and the founder of Geelong Women’s Business Club.  With over 20 years of experience as an actress, model, stylist and speaker she’s worked with international brands such as Lululemon, YSL, Mecca and Mercedes Benz as well as local favourites like Carla Zampatti, Melbourne Fashion Week and Priceline.  Merrin has worked with some of the biggest luxury brands in the world.

As an actress, Merrin has appeared on the icon Australian soap Neighbours as well as on the US TV series Left Overs.  She’s also been on countless TV commercials over her career.

After having two sons, now in their early teens, Merrin dived into the world of professional coaching to help empower her clients to achieve their life goals.  She is also a well-regarded motivational speaker on all topics from balancing work life and motherhood, body image, mindset, women’s health, business and networking.

Away from the spotlight, Merrin found her passion in being of service to others.  She loves helping people and spreading awareness about things that are aligned with her purpose and passion.  She is all for humanity and charity and has worked with different charities.  So in 2019, Merrin launched Geelong Women’s Business Club as a way to help inspire more women and empower them to start their own entrepreneurial journeys.

Merrin is a regular commentator and has been featured with the Nine Network, Nine Honey, Mamamia, Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph and the Geelong Advertiser.  She is a regular on some of Australia’s leading women in business podcasts.  She is an advocate for body acceptance and gives regular parenting advice.  She has also worked alongside several charitable organisations and actively gives back to her local community, including Vinnies Australia, National Breast Cancer Foundation, World Vision, St Kilda Mums and The Smith Family.

Everybody has something they love, what do you love about your ‘job’?

What I love about my job is that I’m doing my job because I’m living my passion and purpose.  I love the fact that I can empower and inspire people and be in that leadership role.  I get so much enjoyment from what I do because I wake up every morning and I’m doing my job that I absolutely love and that resonates with me and aligns with me.

What was your “lightbulb moment”?  The moment you realised that Geelong Women’s Business Club was going to be your footprint on the world?

Originally, I started my events as an intimate group and then I could see that there was so much potential.  I knew that I just needed to reach more people, more women, empower, inspire and lead more people.  It was only a few events that I’m in and I was like “Wow”, I need to scale up!  In 2019-2020, it was sort of an intimate event, then after 18 months, it was a lightbulb moment and I knew I needed to scale up and take this Australia-wide.  In 2021, I just took the leap and scaled up and the events went to new heights – the number of people, the calibre of speakers and going international and Australia-wide.

What was your inspiration for bringing Geelong Women’s Business Club to life?  And why are you taking it on the road?

I’ve always been someone who loves helping people to empower and inspire people.  But I had a spiritual awakening in 2018 and realised that I had to be of service, help people and the world.  In 2019, I created Geelong Women’s Business Club as a way of giving back to people but also to charities.  I have teamed up with a charity at each event and that really resonates with me and I’m all about humanity and charity.  So I saw that there’s a big gap in the market here in Geelong.  There are no events like that.  The format of the way I do my events is very different to other events.  Usually, you can go to certain events and it feels like a really cold space but with Geelong Women’s Business Club, it’s all about bringing that safe space so everyone feels welcome and walks away gaining so much knowledge and wisdom.  So, that’s definitely how it came about and literally took it on the road because I can see so much potential in it – I knew I had to go and reach more people.

Now, we know you’re not mean to pick favourites but if you had to pick your top three panellists so fare, who would they be and why?

My top three favourites (they are equally amazing) to date are; firstly, Colleen Collander, former CEO of Sportsgirl.  She is full of so much knowledge and wisdom and people just walk away with so many golden nuggets. to be able to implement it into their life and business.  She had really good tips and tricks on leadership and business.  I had her twice in my events and the feedback is phenomenal in relation to Colleen.

I love Rozalia Russian as well.  She is very real, raw and relatable.  She talked about her journey of being a mum and her struggles with it.  A lot of people I think resonated with her.  Thirdly, I love Emma Hawkins’ story as well, I thought that she was really incredible.

What do you find is the main reason that keeps you getting up every morning, heading out the door and off to work?

I’m such a go-getter!  If I say I’m going to do something, I do it and I do it well.  I won’t stop until I succeed.  So coming back to living my passion and purpose, so it’s not a job for me.  I’m just waiting up in my element and loving every minute of it.  I also do these things because I want to inspire my children that anything is capable and to empower and inspire them to be the best versions of themselves and let them know that “hey mum is doing X, Y and Z and she just wants to continue being successful and so well-know so she can continue to empower and inspire people.”. In turn, that’s going to inspire and help them to really know that they can go after whatever that is that they want to do.  Also, whenever I hear positive feedback from my audience about what I do, it fills my cup – it’s like “Yes, I’ve done that!”

I’m a classic Leo Lion, I love to lead, entertain and love to be heard so it’s a no-brainer for me to be in the spotlight – I was born to be seen and be a leader and be the voice, make the change with things that have to and be that advocate role.

Tell us your secret… What are some of the little joys that you bring to those that have entrusted you with attending one of your events?

There is no secret – I just show up as my most authentic self every day with real, unapologetic boundaries, speaking my truth always.  I’m very warm and compassionate.

In terms of the events, the little joys are having a space that people feel welcome.  They have a night out and socialise and also walk away with an abundance of knowledge and wisdom that they can use in their daily lives and they are also the same reasons why they have trusted me and attended my events.

If we were to spend a day in your shoes – what would that look like?

I wake up super early before everyone else.  I’m so strict with the morning routine (have my pilates and coffee) and I feel that it’s important to have your life equally balanced.  It’s like three pillars for me: my family (kids and husband), myself, and my career.  After my mourning routine, I prep and drop my kids off at school and go straight to work.  I love to go to work while the kids are in school and when they get back, I switch off again.  Every day is completely different for me to be completely honest but a standard day for me is back-to-back meetings, coaching people, business meetings, working with my events, shooting content for my social media, doing modelling or acting shoots, and appearing on podcasts or TV.  Every week can look completely different but every day I start with my paramount mourning routine then doing work and after that be present with my family-having dinner together and I love the cuddles with kids.

What do you consider a good day at work for you?

A good day at work for me is being present and focused and finding that balance to have that single point of focus and action on everything. that I need to do – being productive throughout the day “It’s like yes, I ticked off everything that I needed to do because I’m present and focused.  I recommend that if you have multiple tasks, focus and do one task at a time.  Don’t do multiple things all at once.”  Also, a good day for me is having the wins like getting into a podcast or landing a role on TV and being booked for a photoshoot.  After that, being able to switch off and. give time to myself and my family.

Who are some of the women in business that you look up to and why?

There are so many people that I look up to, people that inspire me, women that are equally like me – they empower, inspire and lead people and they are successful in doing so.  I’m going to say it but people may not like it, but I look up to people like Kim Kardashian – she knew what she wanted, she went after it and she got it!  She is named for so many different things but she has a paramount success story that continues to advance and go to new heights.  People can say everything they want about her but she is actually a smart woman that created an empire.  So, someone who has created an empire is like that’s what I wanted to be.

I also look up to Gabby Bernstein for how empowering and inspiring she is.  There are so many incredible businesswomen, even locals and their success inspired me.  Also someone like Tania Austin from Decjuba, she created an empire with her businesses and I think that is so inspiring.  There’s also Georgie Stevenson whose Naked Harvest protein drinks which she created from scratch, she’s got an HQ, staff under her, and she’s absolutely killing it.  People like that are super empowering.

Every business needs an adviser… Who do you turn to at Canny Group and with so many accountants Geelong has on offer, why Canny Group?

I definitely go to Amanda, she is a powerhouse and full of so much knowledge.  I feel so safe.  I don’t know about tax, finance and Xero so I go there and walk away with clarity and know that I’m in such good hands.

What kind of support have your received from Canny Group since joining forces with them as your accountant?

I’ve had business advice from Amanda.  I had people helping me with my Xero account, all my accounting and taxes.  Mandy has been there the whole time and has seen my success.  I chose her because she is so friendly and accommodating and I never thought of going anywhere else because she’s incredible – ticks all the boxes.

Looking into your Geelong Women’s Business Club crystal ball… What do you see the future looking like for you and your business?

I just want to continue growing GWBC as much as I can, keep scaling up and making it a billion-dollar empire and keep reaching as many people as I can.  Keep empowering and inspiring and leading and going global.  I envisioned bringing my events to New York and LA.

How do I get in contact to find out more about what you offer and how can I purchase a ticket to your upcoming events?

You can check out my pages:

GWBC Website:

GWBC Instagram:

Merrin Schnabel Instagram:



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