Peer Networks

Peer Networks is a government initiative that brings together diverse cohorts of business leaders so you can discuss your business challenges, in a safe space, with your peers.

Delivered through a series of high impact action learning group sessions, you will gain and reflect on valuable feedback from your peers and identify practical solutions to overcome challenges you each face.

Build Back Better

From finance and HR, crisis management, to sales and marketing challenges, our expert facilitators, business owners, Jane Binnion and Caroline Charnley, will create a safe support network, helping to build and strengthen your business, and improve its overall performance.

Why a Women’s cohort?

We know that, even in the best of times, women leaders of SMEs and not for profit organisations, carry a lot on their own, and it is clearly recorded that women entrepreneurs have been severely economically disadvantaged by the pandemic. Female run businesses, often in sectors vulnerable to economic shocks, experienced a higher rate of closure during the lockdown, and many more are struggling with the unprecedented situation. BEIS have allocated funding for a Peer Networks programme to support organisations through this difficult time and, knowing the specific challenges faced by women, The Growing Club, via Boost Lancashire, has secured a portion of this funding to run cohorts specifically for women in Lancashire.

So what are Peer Networks?

It is well recorded that accountability to our peers is a powerful motivator.

The aim of this funded programme is to provide a safe learning environment with trained facilitators, in which local women entrepreneurs and senior managers can share the difficult issues their businesses are facing in the current pandemic. Using action-learning methodology, possible resolutions to those issues can be discussed within a supportive framework in the group sessions, with an intention to effect change.

Subject specific trainers will be available to provide the group with assistance in the areas they need it, such as finance, marketing, HR and recruitment.

Is this programme right for you…?


*Women applying for the course will be the owner of a business, or a senior decision maker within an organisation.

*The business (including not for profit organisations) must be based in Lancashire (including Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen).

*The organisation must have been operating for at least one year.

*The business must be small to medium sized (SME) with between 5 and 249 employers (associates will count as employees for creative industries ).

*The turnover of the business must be over £100,000 pre-Covid.

*Participants will be women who value peer support and collaboration and are open to learning.

If the answer is yes, Peer Networks is for you!

Course participants will receive

A total of 18-hours of action-learning group work with a small group of peers, through 2.5 hour Zoom sessions each fortnight (with a break for Christmas).

3.5 hours of one to one coaching.

There are 11 places available, which means only 1 place can be allocated per organisation.

The cohort starts on Wednesday 13th of October.

Dates and times:
Sessions will run on a Wednesday morning 9.30am to 12.00pm

  • October 13th and 27th
  • November 10th and 24th
  • December 8th
  • January 5th and 19th

The course is a 12-month, face-to-face programme based in Lancaster. The course is based on the highly successful Growing Club curriculum, but in greater depth.

How to Apply

How to apply: Use the link below to fill in your details via Eventbrite and you will be emailed a link to application form.

Participants will complete a feedback form at the end of each session, to enable quality monitoring and to capture the impact the programme has on the participating businesses.

All information given will remain confidential, in accordance with GDPR.

Women who accept a place on the course are expected to commit to the full length of the programme.

  • 07892 712417
  • The Women & Enterprise Hub, 6-0-5 Alston House, White Cross, Lancaster, LA1 4XQ
"If you are serious about making positive changes to your business and want a sounding board and would like to learn from others experiences this is the course for you. Be prepared to be open and honest to get the best out of this programme"

The Facilitators:

Jane Binnion is a qualified and experienced adult trainer and group work facilitator. She is the owner of Ethical Business Training, author of The Heart of Sales and founder and MD of The Growing Club CIC, an employment and enterprise training organisation for women.

Caroline Charnley is a customer service expert with experience in large, medium and small companies. In recent years she has been using her experience to found and develop her bricks and clicks store, Kitty Brown Boutique based in North Lancashire.

Not the right time? We will be running a further cohort starting on January 7th, 2022

Any questions? Please email

To find out more about the initiative go to:

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