Last chance for business owners through peer-to-peer support network

Richard Jeffery

This is the last chance for business owners in England to sign up to a hugely popular government backed peer-to-peer support programme – Peer Networks.

By linking likeminded business owners with other businesses, Peer Networks is helping business owners across the country find their strength in 2021, support the economic recovery and enable the country to ‘build back better’.

Peer Networks is helping to drive SME growth nationally by giving business owners the opportunity to connect virtually, working together to tackle challenges as they navigate through the ongoing pandemic, a third national lockdown and exit from the EU.

Learning from their peers, business owners are getting support from other local businesses that are facing similar challenges and opportunities allowing participants to benefit from others’ knowledge and gain new insights.

Lauren Bailey Rhodes, operations director at Transform Lives Company (TLC), a Liverpool-based social enterprise specialising in employment and wellbeing, joined Peer Networks to help her business grow.

She said: “I decided to join because it seemed the best fit for me and TLC now because our biggest challenge is getting the word out there and growing our business in the corporate sector.

“As soon as I spoke to our facilitator, I knew this was going to be a really good experience. The first session was great with a good mix of people who are going to bring so many different things to the group and already people are starting to help each other out.”

Paul Wakefield, owner of Freedom Book Publishing based in Buckinghamshire, is urging businesses to get involved after signing up to it recently.

He said: “I didn’t know what to expect but I have been really impressed. There’s a fantastic group of people that I am involved with. The process to sign up to get involved was easy.

“I’ve been able to get the word out about my business, get feedback on my business and I’ve been able to learn from other peopleas well as help and support others. I highly recommend Peer Networks, it’s been fantastic and it’s 100 per cent free.”

Peer Networks is playing an important role in the economic recovery and the government’s commitment to support business through its ‘build back better’ campaign.

It informs businesses of the tools at their disposal to support them through the pandemic and ultimately ‘bounce back’ while also demonstrating how the UK is the best place in the world to do business to encourage new businesses to start and grow and draw new investment into the UK.

Richard Jeffery, Director of Business Growth at The Growth Company, (pictured) said: “The importance of partnership and collaboration with your peers is immeasurable.

“By working together, businesses can learn from each other, they can pull together through challenges such as coping during lockdown, keeping jobs safe, or growing a business in a new market. By opening up to other business owners, they don’t only get one solution to a problem, but several.

“As firms seek to ‘build back better’ we are here to help them by joining business owners up with like-minded peers so they can get the most out of Peer Networks.”

Peer Networks is completely free and is being delivered in England locally by the network of Growth Hubs and supported by their respective Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).

Registration for Peer Networks takes a few minutes, and you can find out more today by visiting Sign up before the closing date for registrations on 31 January. There is no cost for participants to take part.

Peer Networks is financed by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).