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Solent LEP powers peer network for women in business

By Karolina Skinner
11 August 2021

The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (Solent LEP)'s peer network, the Local Business Networks Programme,  offers small groups of leaders and owners from SMEs in the Solent region the chance to meet and share best practice and to gain one-to-one, tailored support. Its Women in Business groups unite local women from a diverse range of business backgrounds. 

United behind the Solent LEP's project are key region leaders CEO Anne-Marie Mountifield, who emphasises the LEP’s commitment to gender balance, and Caroline Nokes, MP for Romsey and Southampton North, who is the Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee and a strong advocate for women in business.

Emma Corina (pictured), Director of Strategic Planning at YMCA Fairthorne Group, who took part in the LEP’s Peer Networking during last year’s pandemic, says: "Women can be in a minority in some businesses, so networking and working together is really useful. It gives us a chance to take a different approach to work situations and share our experiences."

SJ Hunt, Deputy Chair of the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership and Chair of the Solent LEP's Business Task Force says: "The Solent region offers a vibrant and exciting innovation ecosystem which is so important in this post-pandemic era of economic recovery.

"The LEP supports and celebrates the successful work that is being produced to boost prosperity, including that of our inspirational women entrepreneurs and business leaders who contribute so much."

Hunt believes the peer networking programme helps SMEs in the Solent and particularly women in business – especially if they are juggling the demands of home life during school summer holidays – and encourages them to sign up.

The Solent LEP also offers its Local Business Networks Programme, or peer networks, to business leaders and owners from all backgrounds, and has set up groups for those from minority ethnic groups, who may appreciate discussing similar challenges with people from similar backgrounds. 

About the Solent LEP 

The Solent LEP is a partnership between business, education and local authorities. Together, they play a leading role in determining economic priorities in our region and investing to drive economic growth and job creation.