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Expert-led peer network delivers critical support to business leaders

A NEW fully funded scheme is being launched in the South East Midlands for ambitious business leaders to join a network of “brilliant business minds” for business development and growth. 

Peer Networks brings together individuals from businesses across Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire to collaboratively work through common issues and develop an action plan to resolve them.

The scheme is a national peer-to-peer programme managed locally by SEMLEP’s Growth Hub. The mentoring sessions are being designed and delivered by experts from Cranfield School of Management.

The first cohorts start in January, with experienced facilitators from Cranfield School of Management managing the interactive action learning in order to give business leaders the opportunity to discuss their own challenges, gain and reflect on valuable feedback and implement practical solutions to overcome them.

Vicky Hlomuka

Vicky Hlomuka, manager of SEMLEP’s Growth Hub, said: “By engaging with our Peer Networks programme, businesses can ensure they are ready to emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever, equipped with the knowledge and expertise they need to build and grow.

“We are working with the hugely respected team at Cranfield School of Management to give local companies access to a network of brilliant business minds who can help them fulfil their ambitions and develop their organisation for future success.

“Peer Networks enables you to make connections that go far beyond traditional networking, this is about building a trusted network of connections to support you both now and in the future, improving your long-term personal and business performance.”

The Peer Networks programme is available to any SME business in the South East Midlands that has operated for at least one year and with a turnover of at least £100,000. Ideally, participants should also have the potential to scale up and the ability or potential to export overseas.

Sabrina Sommer

Sabrina Sommer, director business growth portfolio at the Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship at Cranfield University, said: “SMEs are the lifeblood of the UK economy. It’s imperative we are here to support businesses and entrepreneurs who understandably feel overwhelmed by the effects of both the pandemic and the EU exit. 

“For SMEs, this programme offers an opportunity to spring into action and address and overcome some of the major challenges they face.

“We need to help them navigate these unprecedented times. Many will have taken out loans, in order to stay solvent, and will need support developing their business in order to pay them back. This kind of business support is vital to save existing jobs and create new positions for those who have lost their livelihoods during this crisis.”

Places on the programme are limited and businesses are urged to sign up as soon as possible to guarantee your place in the cohorts.

Register your interest in the Peer Networks programme by filling in the enquiry form at www.semlepgrowthhub.com/peer-networks. A representative of SEMLEP’s Growth Hub will be in touch to discuss further details about your eligibility, the cohorts and start dates.


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