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POP Connect


POP Connect is different to other networking businesses as we veer away from the meeting room events and yet we’re not just meeting up in a pub for a social experience; there is structure and real benefit from joining Pop Connect.

POP Connect is run by Katherine Phillips. Katherine is an enterprising woman who already runs Bystander Magazines Ltd., and who saw a gap in the market for a fun and friendly, yet serious business networking group for women who are running their own small business, self employed or working for a local business.Subsequently, seeing a need for similar mixed groups Pop Connect have also started some of these.

Pop Connect offers a fresh approach to networking and generating business, we feel it’s important to break the ice and know who’s in the room so our model includes a ‘speed connect’ session at the offset.

We make sure that every member or guest get their 70 seconds to promote their business to the larger group.  All members also have the opportunity to give a 10 minute presentation annually. We occasionally have guest speakers which adds even further value to our membership and our members businesses.

Our network has grown rapidly thanks to the supportive and collaborative nature of every group and POP as a whole - going in to 2020 we have over 20 groups, in three counties and more than 250 members! The majority of groups provide mixed networking for men and women and we do also have some all women groups including the founding group in Dunmow.  All groups are for people of all ages who are running their own businesses, self employed or working for a local business.

We offer Guests 2 attendances before they choose to take up annual membership as long as the space is still available.


After 15 years experience facilitating and organising international scientific conferences I decided to change direction and 11 years ago I set up local magazine company Bystander Magazines which now has magazines in Cambridgeshire and Essex, Village Bystander and Dunmow & District Bystander. Three years ago this became a limited company and I am now a Director and Creative Editor. The magazines run really well alongside Pop Connect. I began working with special needs children and adults with both mental and physical health issues over 23 years ago and I still give some time each month providing them with holistic massage, bringing some respite into their lives.

I live in Great Dunmow, Essex with my two daughters, as well as 3 dogs, I’m also an active member of the local ‘Town Team’ – a UK wide enterprise - who promote facilitating greater footfall through Great Dunmow High Street.

I am passionate about creating a new type of networking group, perhaps halfway between some of the more formal and staid women’s networking groups and the mums or ladies who meet for a monthly chat over coffee but the meeting isn’t really structured. I’ve been absolutely delighted with the growth of Pop Connect, the lovely comments our members and guests have made and look forward to expanding further.

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