Annabelle Beckwith

Annabelle Beckwith has been a business trainer, coach and consultant for over 20 years now, and has worked with businesses in all sectors, all over the world. Her main focus is on 3 key areas: leadership, personal presence and impact, and working with businesses on gender equality and women’s empowerment as business optimisation.

What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before starting your professional journey and what inspired you to choose this career.

I grew up in a rural area of the UK: I’m mixed race and it wasn’t always easy as it wasn’t an ethnically diverse area at that point. I went to university in Birmingham though – an incredibly multicultural, vibrant city where I felt very at home. 

After graduating, I didn’t really have a career plan – I looked for opportunities in areas that interested me so I spent time working in television at the BBC, in PR and in performing arts marketing before gravitating towards what I do now. 

It might seem random, but all of it has contributed to what I do now, and the way in which I work with my clients. No experience is ever a wasted one, I believe.

Was there any turning point in your life that changed your journey? If so, what was it? Please tell us the backstory behind it.

There was: I was made redundant! At the time, I thought it was the worst thing that had ever happened to me, but in retrospect, it turned out to be one of the best things for my career, because I decided not to look for another job, but to set up on my own and become self-employed. 

I had 2 small children at the time, and a husband who wasn’t working, so it was a matter of having to think quickly about my skills and experience, and how I could best use them.

I started working as an associate trainer for a large company, leveraging my drama background and delivering courses that they had written for large corporations. One day I was asked if I could write courses: I thought ‘how hard can it be?!’ and said ‘yes’. 

I found it was something that I could do well, and over the years I’ve written and delivered dozens of programmes and courses for corporates, and they’ve expanded to include coaching, consultancy, retreats, online learning and a range of experiential initiatives.

Tell us about your goals, interests, and role models.

My goal is to empower others to do more and be better than they think they can. One of my main motivators is working with a client who comes to me thinking’ I can’t do this’, and they leave thinking “I can…and I will!”

I believe that inspiring people and giving them confidence is as important as teaching skills

I had a great role model at the start of my career – she had set up a marketing communications business from her kitchen table, and worked with some of the biggest organisations in the country.  She didn’t just want to be the best in the county or the region, she wanted to be the best in the country, and I learned from her that to work to be the best and to expect to work with the best was ‘normal’

Everyone has their own set of challenges when starting an entrepreneurial journey. Still, the most essential part for others to learn is how you deal with those. Would you like to share with us your challenges and your coping mechanisms?

Resilience is essential as an entrepreneur. In practical terms early on, the main challenge was around cashflow, and generating enough business to keep going. Since then, there have been bumps in the road – the economic crash of 2008 and of course covid, where all of my face-to-face training and coaching vanished overnight!

I’m part of some excellent networks which has helped when times have been tough – having a strong community and supportive family and friends is vital, I think.

I invest a lot in my own personal development and that has helped too, in building mental resilience.

And sometimes, it’s simply a matter of reminding yourself that ‘this too shall pass’ and to hang in there until it does.  Because it always will.

What impact do you feel you have been able to create with your work so far and how would you want to grow in the next few years?

I’ve received wonderful testimonials from clients over the years, and I’ve seen how many of them have grown and developed in their own careers, because we’ve stayed in touch. Most of my business over the years has been repeat business or come from recommendations.

In the coming years I’d like to continue my focus on helping others to develop, and to develop products and resources that will complement the services I offer.

Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?


Women are a growing force in the workplaces worldwide, standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. There are cracks in glass ceilings everywhere, with many women breaking through to carve out a space right at the top of the pyramid. What are your thoughts about women’s leadership today?

Where would you like me to start?! In some ways, we have made great progress… and in others, we haven’t.  Women STILL face prejudice and an uphill battle within the workplace, and still lag behind their male counterparts in terms of leadership opportunities, salary, investment opportunities and so on.

For me, the focus must be twofold: first, to empower women to step forward with confidence, and secondly to work alongside male allies in the business world to bring about greater equality and ensure that EVERYONE has an opportunity to fulfil their potential. This isn’t just a values driven issue about fairness and justice – it’s also about business optimisation, and we must, I believe change the narrative to reflect this

With your grit and determination, you are making a considerable impact, breaking through, and serving as role models for many budding entrepreneurs. What would you want to say to our young women leaders/audience reading this?

Be yourself. Be brave. And know that you do NOT need anyone else’s permission to succeed!

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