In 2010, Robyn Grebliunas wanted to join a collective of business/entrepreneurial minded women in Merritt, but no such group existed; so in February of 2011, Grebliunas decided to form her own collective, Merritt’s Women in Business.

Keeping an informal feel to the group was paramount for Grebliunas.

“The last thing busy women need is to feel like they have one more thing to squeeze into their day,” Grebliunas said.

“There are no membership fees, no mandatory attendance and there is a recognition that sometimes, people will be away, leave early or arrive late.”

The collective is open to any Merritt woman who has a small business, wants to learn more about how to run a small business or simply wants to feel empowered and encouraged in a supportive female- driven environment.

Grebliunas strives to bring a diverse group of speakers and topics to the collective, ranging from financial analysts, insurance brokers and marketing specialists to educate and empower the collective.

Jill Coster, a Sun Life financial advisor was the guest speaker for the meeting on Oct. 12.

Coster spoke about the importance of health and having proper health and critical-illness insurance and the changing way these insurances can bring unexpected windfalls to individuals and small business owners.

Carrie Ware, a collective member and a charted accountant, doesn’t have her own business but hopes one day to be able to buy out the firm she is working for now and said the collective has given her the drive to work harder and the tools and knowledge to reach her goals.

Grebliunas’ long-term goals for the collective are to see the woman of Merritt liberated, driven and working toward happier, healthier, more successful lives as women, wives, mothers, and daughters, through the empowerment, education and networking of the collective.