Last chance for GM businesses to sign up and harness the power of peer networking and get your business ready for 2021

Richard Jeffery

By Richard Jeffery, Director of Business Growth at The Growth Company
At times of uncertainty and challenges around a national lockdown and the ongoing global pandemic, Greater Manchester SME business owners should not feel isolated, they are not on their own.

By working with other like-minded people who know business best, they can ensure they are getting the right support and advice to prepare them for future growth opportunities and to ‘build back better.’

Over 300 GM business leaders are already positively benefiting from the programme delivered by GC Business Growth Hub.

Based on demand, a final additional two groups have been added in GM, with a deadline date of 05.02.21 to submit an online enquiry.

So, what is Peer Networks, and how does it work?

Business owners are coming together virtually in small groups to learn from, and support each other. They are discussing the important challenges and opportunities they are facing, such as EU transition, recovering from COVID-19 impacts and dealing with a wide range of topics.

Each Peer Networks’ group consists of eight-11 owners or managers from the GM SME business community, led by an experienced facilitator, typically meeting fortnightly as part of delivering 18 hours of action learning, to come up with tangible solutions in a collaborative, non-competitive environment.

Businesses will also access 1:1 support matched to their specific needs to help build on their learning experience.

This is what GM business owners have to say about Peer Networks:

Jamie Watson is Managing Partner at Manchester-based integrated marketing agency Pixel8 and has already attended a number of Peer Networks sessions.

He said: “Peer Networks is completely different to a traditional networking group or programme, and is much more valuable and effective for professional and personal self-help by helping others in close working groups.

“As a business leader you often think that everyone’s’ problems are different, although as you start to engage with others you realise there are a lot of common themes and topics.

“Peer Networks is not a standard ‘networking’ programme, and doesn’t feel like it, it creates a safe environment that enables individual business leaders and managers to work together with the group to solve shared problems, issues and address opportunities, and all of the outputs are positive.

“Another positive I have found with my group is the diversity of the businesses – at first when you have other people in your group that are so different and diverse you question the relevance, although having this diversity and range of sectors and individuals is incredibly insightful.

“After every session I came off calls feeling like I’m not alone.

“If any Greater Manchester SME business leaders are considering Peer Networks, my advice would be to get on the programme, it is a good use of time and can only help your current situation and business, no matter what, it has something for everyone.”

Richard Jeffery, Director of Business Growth at The Growth Company, 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.”

How can businesses take part?

Registration for Peer Networks at before the GM extended closing date of 05.02.21.

Peer Networks will run until 31 March 2021. Peer Networks is financed by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).