Peer Networks 2

Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Hub in partnership with the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) are pleased to present an exclusive Women’s peer to peer network programme.

Peer Networks are an initiative that brings together business leaders to discuss their challenges, gain and reflect on valuable feedback, while implementing practical solutions. When presented with challenges and opportunities, many businesses want to take advice from trusted sources and we are here to provide that environment.

Delivered through a series of online group sessions with a qualified facilitator, Peer Networks will enable you to make connections that go far beyond networking.

Make valuable connections

From finance and HR, crisis management, to sales and marketing, our business expert and trained facilitator, Louise Carver, 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 1st lockdown, and many more are struggling with this 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 Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Hub, has secured a portion of this funding to run a cohort specifically for women across Swindon and Wiltshire.

What are Peer Networks?

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

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

Course participants will receive:

A total of 18 hours of action-learning group work, through 2-hour online sessions each fortnight (with the exception of the 1st meeting), there will be a break for Christmas.

3.5-hours of 1-2-1 high level coaching

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

Dates and times:

Sessions will run on a Friday at 9am to 11am

November 27th – This will be a get to know the group meeting

December 4th – Action sets start, sessions will be fortnightly after this

December 18th

January 8th

January 22nd

February 5th

February 19th

March 5th

March 19th

Is this programme for you?


Women applying for the network 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 Swindon or Wiltshire.

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

The business must be small to medium sized (SME) with a minimum of 5 employees pre-covid (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.

How to apply:

Fill in your details here.

Once the completed application form has been submitted, the applicant will receive a telephone call to check eligibility, and to gather initial eligibility data.

Participants will complete a detailed survey at programme start, mid-point, and end. You will also complete a survey 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.

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


Louise Carver is the Director of Louise Carver Consulting Ltd, a people development consultancy which she established in 2009 following a 22-year career as a training and development officer in the Royal Air Force. As an independent consultant, she has worked with numerous organisations in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors seeking to grow, navigate organisational change, develop leaders and teams and resolve workplace conflict. She has also mentored professional women aiming to progress their careers or change direction.

Louise is accredited by the Belbin Institute as a team roles facilitator and is qualified to administer the Core Strengths Strength Deployment Inventory®. She speaks German and Swedish and has worked in Germany, designing, and delivering change leadership workshops and facilitating Board-level development in German. She is also a qualified workplace mediator.

“I am very much looking forward to being involved in this programme as the facilitator supporting Women in Business to maximise the potential of their organisations. I’ve always been passionate about developing resilient, credible, purposeful leaders who can work collaboratively and lead high-performing, motivated teams and I now hope to be able to use my skills and experience to help SME business leaders grow and thrive in our county.”


Any questions please email Brea Woods, Project Manager – Peer Networks on [email protected]