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Co-Women Networking: your questions answered

Things have changed a little at Co-Women recently, in order to make this Sussex-based networking group work even better for you! Following the changes, we thought we’d make sure that we answer a few of your questions in one place, so read on to see some of the things we get asked regularly…

What events does Co-Women offer? When Co-Women was born, it was with fun and joy in mind! Jo had attended several networking events that she found incredibly uninspiring, and decided to bring her unique blend of fun to the world of business events. To support that mission, she aims to find the kind of activities you might not expect to see in a business context, from trips to Go Ape and Ballie Ballerson, to pottery making and a shibari workshop. Our annual Christmas party is starting to become a pretty legendary affair, and yes, there is a Secret Santa exchange.

We’re also open to ideas from members, and collaboration with them. If there’s an activity you’d like us to try together, let us know and we’ll do our best to get it on the calendar! If you run the kind of event that we’d like to be part of, let’s talk dates as we’d love to bring a group of members along to experience you at your best.

Are all of Co-Women’s events in Brighton? In a word: no! We get ourselves around Sussex as much as possible. It might be that we go foraging for wild garlic on a pub walk, or axe throwing in the countryside. We’ve also got plans for a wine tasting at a lovely vineyard, and we occasionally make it all the way up to London when there’s a good enough excuse to go! Many of our members are based across Brighton and Hove, but we’re here chasing a good time, and sometimes that means travelling all the way to Morocco (yep, if you hadn’t heard already, we had a Co-Women holiday for the first time ever this year, which saw a group of us spend three nights at a private riad in Marrakech. Should we do it again?!).

Can I join Co-Women if I’m not self-employed? In 2023, business is taking place in ways many people had never imagined. The days of a single-path career are long gone, and in the last few years in particular, the amount of people taking on second jobs as a way of starting up their own business has increased.

Co-Women welcomes all women in this way. The majority of our members are self-employed, but we do have many who are either self-employed across a couple of small businesses, or split their time between employment and self-employment. We also have a few members who are fully employed and in the process of setting up their own business, or contemplating it. As our membership covers a diverse array of experiences, we are an ideal group to join as we have plenty of brains to pick! Some of us have been self-employed for over a decade, some for fewer years but still with many lessons learned way ahead of you.

Again: the idea is to have fun, and whilst those who are self-employed will benefit from Co-Women membership in the sense that they’ll have access to mentoring from others who’ve been there and done it, we’re also here to inspire joy and support your social life. Which, with an increase in employed people working from home, has taken a big hit. So whichever category you fit into, at least come and try one of our events as a non-member in order to see what we’re about and whether it might work for you.

Do you have limitations on industry memberships? Again: no. We believe in both welcoming everyone who identifies with our values, and offering consumers choice. Personal services such as coaching are a prime example, in our opinion, of ensuring that you have the right fit, so to limit ourselves to one member in this way has the potential to restrict a member’s ability to find the service which is right for them (and the service provider’s ability to meet their ideal clients!). We encourage all members to be kind to each other, and work within their scope of practice – we think that choice is a good thing.

How do I pay membership and events? Events are all bookable via our website, where payment details for each one can also be seen. There are options for membership, as we understand that an annual fee can be a significant outlay (though that is, of course, an option). In addition to annually, you can choose to pay monthly, or every three months. There are slightly different fees at each level, details of which can be found here.

Have we missed anything that you wanted to know? Get in touch, as we’re always happy to help!

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