National scheme Peer Networks is being introduced in South Yorkshire with SME business leaders invited to work with others to address challenges and grow their businesses.
The programme, launched by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), is being delivered by the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub. The scheme will enable business leaders to build trusted connections to support them now and in the future, with a view to improving their long term personal and business performance.
The scheme comes at a vital time for the South Yorkshire economy as local businesses look to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the programme, businesses will be able to use the peer groups as an open forum to navigate their way through the challenges their industry may face, whilst also creating a network of like-minded businesses to keep in touch with, even after the sessions have ended.
James Muir, Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Chairman, explains: “The Growth Hub is working hard to help South Yorkshire to recover from the impact of the global pandemic. Peer Networks are a great way for local SME business leaders to work collaboratively with others to find solutions to common business problems in a non-competitive environment. In these unprecedented times, we believe this will enhance and strengthen the local business community so we can build back better for a stronger post-COVID recovery.”
The introduction of Peer Networks follows on from the launch of the ambitious Renewal Action Plan (RAP) by the Mayoral Combined Authority, Mayor Dan Jarvis and the Local Enterprise Partnership’s, which has been devised to support people, employers and places within the Sheffield City Region. The Renewal Action Plan (RAP) will help businesses to adapt, survive and thrive in the new environment and to create a more productive and innovative economy. The plan sets out Sheffield City Region’s road map to help South Yorkshire to recover from the pandemic and puts local businesses on the path towards social and economic renewal.
There is no cost for SME businesses to join Peer Networks and business leaders can take part via virtual sessions from the comfort of their own home or office. Sheffield City Region Growth Hub’s specialist advisors will facilitate activities, which take place in structured, small group sessions with up to 11 people. Delegates will also benefit from access to 1:1 mentoring, coaching or advice, depending on the support businesses need.
The criteria for SME businesses to join the Peer Network initiative is:
- Companies should have at least five employees (a limited number of places are available to firms with 2-4 employees)
- Operated for at least one year
- A turnover of at least £100,000
- An aspiration to improve
- And ideally has the potential to scale up or export or is exporting already.
Sheffield City Region Growth Hub’s advisors have many years of industry experience; from the manufacturing and service sector through to finance and international operations and offer that independent, impartial perspective.