Why Peer Networks should be embedded into your business model

Peer to Peer networks

Peer Networks is bringing together business owners to support each other as they work together on important challenges and opportunities

SME business owners are being offered support to share and learn from each other as they grow and develop their organisations through Peer Networks.

Through interactive action learning, Peer Networks is bringing business owners together to help them explore new opportunities as well as deal with the challenges of Covid-19 as well as navigate through the EU transition helping to place businesses in a stronger position for future growth

Delivered locally in England by the network of Growth Hubs and supported by their Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), the virtual sessions are run by professional facilitators who understand the local business landscape.

What is action learning?

Action learning is a proven approach to problem solving and learning in groups to bring about change in individuals, teams and organisations.

Each Peer Network group will work together with their supportive peer group.

Over several weeks, each member has the chance to present an opportunity or an issue and together the group will explore this and any solutions, whilst also commenting on the challenges for others.

What those involved have to say about the experience

Business owners view

Kirsti Grayson, Director of Go Velo, a Bikeability provider offering cycle training and bike maintenance to children and adults across Lancashire, joined her local Peer Network and is already seeing benefits.

Kirsti Grayson
Kirsti Grayson

Kirsti said: “Already I’ve learnt so much about the issues other people are facing and I’ve gained confidence in knowing that despite my business being smaller and structured differently to others I still had experiences I could share to help others improve.

“I came away feeling very supported. It’s really making me focus on my business and motivated me considerably.”

Facilitator view

Working with your local Growth Hub also means SMEs will be working with facilitators that fully understand the business landscape and sectors that are driving the economy in your region.

Active involvement in Peer Networks will enhance the leadership capabilities, knowledge and confidence of business owners and entrepreneurs within a local region while also helping to build local connectivity and strength within the business community.

Business owners will also receive additional access to 1:1 mentoring, coaching or advice depending on the support that is needed.

Sarah Underwood is a Professor in Entrepreneurial Practice at Leeds University Business School and a Peer Networks facilitator working with the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership.

She said: “One of the great things about running Peer Networks has been to allow small business owners the opportunity to come together in a space where they can be open about the fact that they don’t have all of the right answers on how they should be running their businesses right now.

“It has been an amazing opportunity for them to be able to relieve some of that burden about how stressful it has really been over the last few months and that sense of shared understanding across the group has helped add a level of resilience amongst the business owners that wasn’t there before.”

Where do I find out more?

To find out more about Peer Networks and to register in minutes today, please visit www.peernetworks.co.uk .

The virtual sessions will take place between now and March 2021 and are in high demand.

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