Five reasons why Peer Networks could benefit your business

The government's Peer Networks programme offers support to SMEs as they face upcoming challenges with Covid-19 and Brexit

The year 2020 has proved challenging for SMEs across all sectors but working with like-minded peers to address key issues and opportunities can help businesses to successfully navigate through Covid-19 and the ongoing EU transition.

At a time when SMEs need impactful support, working with other business leaders is an effective approach to share knowledge and find solutions in a trusted and collaborative space – and the Peer Networks Programme, backed by the Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) – aims to do just that.

What is the Peer Networks programme?

Peer Networks is an initiative that will bring together SME businesses to support them as they work together on important challenges, while also coming up with tangible solutions in a collaborative environment.

The programme is being delivered in England locally by the network of Growth Hubs and supported by their respective Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).

Peer Networks will form an important part of the government’s drive to improve productivity and deliver part of the economic response to the effect of Covid-19 on businesses.

It will provide support to SMEs as they move into and through the recovery phase of Covid-19 response, improve SMEs’ capability to adapt their business models to the “new normal”, position themselves for future success and drive longer term growth through improved leadership and management skills and tech adoption.

How can it help my business?

One of the most important aspects of this is access to other SMEs to learn from each other. What better way to invest in the future of your business than by working with people who know business best? Other business leaders. But there are other benefits too:

1/ Learn from your peers: Find solutions to the real issues your business is facing by working with other local business leaders facing similar challenges.

2/ All it takes is your time: There is no cost to join Peer Networks, other than a few hours of your time each month. You can join virtual sessions from the comfort of your home or office.

3/ Varied delivery, real results: Activities take place in structured, small-group sessions, led by a skilled professional facilitator to make sure you see real results in return for the investment of your time. You will also benefit from access to 1:1 mentoring, coaching or advice depending on the support you need.

4/ Non-competitive: Peer Networks brings together business leaders working collaboratively to find solutions to common problems. You will not be placed in a group with any competitors, so you can share your expertise and benefit from others.

5/ National knowledge, local delivery: Peer Networks is backed by HM Government and delivered by local Growth Hubs who understand your business landscape.

Peer Networks is open to any business that has been in operation for at least one year, employs a minimum of five people, has a turnover of £100,000 and has the aspiration to improve and the potential to scale up or export or is exporting already.

To find out more about Peer Networks, or to register an interest in joining a cohort, please visit the Peer Networks website or contact your local Business Growth Hub advisor.

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