Peer Networks helps small enterprise homeowners develop their companies

Kirsti Grayson, Director of Go Velo, provides cycle training and maintenance for children and adults across Lancashire

Peer Networks is designed to drive the growth of SMEs as small and medium-sized businesses work together to overcome challenges and adapt to the “new normal”.

From construction to biking, early adopters of Peer Networks, Chris Kane and Kirsti Grayson, are already seeing the benefits of addressing shared challenges and opportunities with other businesses.

Around the country, SME entrepreneurs like Chris and Kirsti come together in small groups to learn from each other about key challenges and opportunities such as the EU transition and to recover from the effects of Covid-19, HR, technology and finance and marketing.

> See also: Your Guide to Peer Networking

Chris Kane, co-founder of Greendale Construction in Dorset, is one of many small business owners who have already signed up for Peer Networks.

Chris said: “This year has been a challenging time for all businesses, especially SMEs, as the ongoing pandemic continues to create uncertainty.

“Peer networks are interesting and engaging, and there is a great mix of business owners participating. I was open minded and wanted to help myself and others address some of the business challenges we face.

“I want to learn from my colleagues, understand their challenges, talk about our own and see how we can learn from and help one another. After the first session, I called my business partner and told them to sign up for Peer Networks as well. “

Kirsti Grayson, director of Go Velo, a bike rideability provider that provides bike training and maintenance to children and adults across Lancashire, has joined her local peer network and is already seeing benefits.

Kirsti said, “I’ve already learned so much about the problems other people face and I’ve gained the confidence that even though my business is smaller and differently structured than others, I still had experiences that I share was able to help others improve themselves.

“I felt very supported. I am really focused on my business and have been very motivated. “

Funded by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and coordinated by The Growth Company, Peer Networks was developed as part of the government’s engagement in the 2019 Enterprise Productivity Review aimed at closing national productivity Gap.

It is provided locally in England by the network of Growth Hubs and supported by the respective Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).

Richard Jeffery, Director of Business Growth at The Growth Company, added, “Peer Networks is designed for entrepreneurs like Chris and Kirsti to partner with like-minded companies and share challenges, solutions, expertise and experiences to seize and develop opportunities themselves and their businesses.

“We have found that peer-to-peer support is a positive way to build dialogue and relationships within a peer group that will provide long-term benefits for business owners and allow them to take the next steps to grow . “

Each peer network consists of eight to eleven owners or managers from the local SME business community. It is led by a moderator and typically meets as a group every two weeks to discuss a range of common business challenges and opportunities.

Individual support is also provided to assist with the implementation and management of changes in each individual company.

To learn more and to register an interest in joining other business owners like Chris and Kirsti, click here.

Peer Networks is funded by the Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy Department (BEIS) and there is no cost for participants to join.

further reading

Five reasons why peer networks could benefit your business

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