Female networking in London
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An increasing number of women are starting businesses, moving up the corporate ladder and taking on leadership roles. Following this trend networking initiatives have been set up for women over the past few years. I have created a list of networking groups for women in London since July 2012 but the list isn’t exhaustive, even though it is updated on a regular basis. This 2015 update contains a few new networks focusing on combining motherhood with a career. If you know any good ones I have missed don’t hesitate to send me the details.
Aim & Aspire (former Women’s Business Club @44)
Aim & Inspire is a business networking club, open to all women who are either running or thinking of starting their own business. Their meetings are a mixture of informal networking and business or inspirational talks and workshops.
Setup: monthly evening meetings in central London.
For more information check out Aim & Aspire website.
Membership is open to women business owners and to women who are employees and in roles where they are decision makers responsible for generating new business and clients.
Setup: monthly lunches all over Central London and each group allows only one person per field of business. During the lunches you can present yourself and your business, attention will be given to a certain topic, referring business and there is plenty of network opportunities before and after the lunches.
For more information check out the Athena Network website.
CEO Mums Club
This network is focusing on Cherishing Every Opportunity (CEO) in business and motherhood. Set up ‘to help professional mothers across London and the rest of the UK to achieve the success they want and a lifestyle they love’. For more information check out CEO Mums Club website.
Citymothers is set up in London late 2012 followed by Cityfathers in 2014. The networks are aiming at City professionals who want a balanced family life with a progressive career. Their aim is to provide support covering topics relevant to working parents in the City and Canary Wharf. It is free to join. For more information check out Citymothers website.
City Women’s Network was founded in 1978 by English and American women working in London’s Square mile. In the past, members were predominately bankers, lawyers and accountants but CWN is currently welcoming other professional women and entrepreneurs who have had held professional, executive or managerial positions at a senior level for at least five years. CWN organises professional and social networking events with an annual charity gala dinner in the Autumn and a business conference in the Winter which are also open for non-members to attend.
Setup: you need a proposer and seconder to become a member who you can meet by attending their events which are often open to non-members.
For more information check out the CWN website.
DrivenWoman is a network for women with ideas and ambition who want to achieve their goals and was set up in 2013. Their method is called ‘LifeWorking’, a merger between networking and lifecoaching. Women inspire, support and encourage each other to go forward, step by step. Monthly meetings build accountability and a positive framework to tackle obstacles and make things happen.
For more information check out the Driven Woman website.
European professional women’s network
This network gives the opportunity to connect with business women from London but also from across Europe and is open to women working on all levels. EPWN has a strong social media presence as well. Individual membership costs £100 or if working for a NGO, non-profit or charity £70. They organise different type of events varying from breakfasts, workshops and general networking events. For more information check their website here.
Everywoman is established since 1999 and has different set ups for business women and female entrepreneurs. ‘Everywoman club’ is for entrepreneurs running large businesses or are at a senior level in organisations. ‘Everywoman network’ is an online network for business women and start-ups. ‘Everywoman leadership’ programme is focusing on specific development issues. ‘Everywoman events’ lists interesting workshops and conferences.
All have different price schemes.For more information check out the Everywoman website.
Fabulous Women is a not-for-profit community set up in 2012 which aims to provide women, and their businesses, with the tools and services they need to succeed. In addition to their online community and community market place they run several groups in the South East including Richmond, Ealing, Harrow, Teddington and Woodford.
Setup: There is no membership needed, there is no lock-out and anyone can attend any of their meeting for £10 which includes light refreshments. The format of their meetings is a 60 second round, two presentations (life & business) and a round of informal networking.
For more information check out Fabulous women website.
Lady Val’s professional women’s network LVPWN
LVPWN organises lunches with an interesting speaker in Central London on a regular basis. No need to become a member; you just sign up for the lunch with costs £50 of which £10 is given to a charity. Executives and business women are welcome to attend these lunches (and occasional supper). For more information check their website here.
UK’s leading support network for mums in business was founded by two ‘mumpreneurs’ in 2010. They are offering advice, resources and events and support for mums considering starting a business. Setup: The Southeast London group meets once a month and like Athena only allows one person per business field joining the group. The membership offers a variety of possibilities from Bronze (£5 per month) to Gold (£14.99) per month. For more information check out the UK or London website.
National Women’s Network is established since 1981 and has a London Branch since 2011. Apart from London they have a network in the Midlands and the North of England. It is run by volunteers and providing professional support for business women through workshops, monthly meetings, discussion groups, seminars and an annual conference. Joining fee is £75 excluding fees for the workshops and seminars you like to attend.
For more information check out the NWN website
Since 2007 the PinkShoeClub connects people of influence to explore ideas, business and opportunities. It has created links in Parliament both in the UK and Internationally. One of its objectives is to help increase female participation in public life, politics and government. It offers a variation from cocktail parties to high-level debates. Membership is open for anyone and you pay per event. The events are mainly taking place in London
For more information check out the PSB website
Sister Snog started in 2002 and aims at women who are running a business for over two years and are interested in taking their business to the next level or having a senior position in the corporate world. It offers a variety of networking through breakfast, lunch or dinner networking events with a twist. You can become a so-called Kitten Heel member or Killer Heel member.
For more information check out the Sister Snog website
Women in business network (WIBN)
WIBN is a membership organisation for women who wish to gain new business opportunities and set up in 2005. Being part of WIBN will enable you to promote your business, its products or services to like minded women who will refer your business to their customers, clients, friends and family members.
Set up: After becoming a member of the network you will have access to other group meetings around the area (providing that there is no conflict of profession in the group you wish to visit). Their set up is quite similar to Athena: monthly meetings, only one profession per field and open to business women and entrepreneurs.
For more information check out the WIBN website.
I haven’t tried out all the above mentioned business networks myself but would recommend visiting a few to find out what suits your needs. Other general network initiatives you can find in my blog-post non stop networking nous.