Peer Networks

Peer Networks powered by Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and West Yorkshire Combined Authorit

Applications now open for the 2021-22 programme

Peer Networks is a fully funded programme specifically designed to enable small business owners to grow their businesses. It is available to businesses that have operated for at least one year, have at least five employees and have an aspiration to grow.

Apply today


Create a trusted support network

Peer Networks is a national peer-to-peer networking programme for small business leaders that want to grow and develop their organisation for future success. The programme is delivered locally by the University of Leeds on behalf of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP) and in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. We will bring together diverse groups of individuals to collaboratively work through common business issues.

Through interactive action learning, we enable you to discuss your own challenges, gain and reflect on valuable feedback and implement practical solutions to overcome them. Our expert facilitators give you the flexibility to create a trusted support network that works for you, helping you to build and strengthen your business and improve its overall performance.

The programme is open to all SME businesses trading in the Leeds City Region (Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield).

Group sessions

Peer Networks is delivered through a series of high impact group sessions, with each cohort led by a trained facilitator. The programme includes:

  • Interactive action learning
  • Small groups
  • Flexible discussion selection
  • One to one coaching

Who should attend

The programme is designed for SME business leaders who want to grow and develop their organisation for future success. The programme is available to any SME business that has:

  • Operated for at least one year
  • At least five employees
  • An aspiration to grow

Benefits

Research consistently shows businesses that seek external advice or undertake formal training are more likely to improve their overall performance and benefit from taking advice from trusted sources, such as their peers, when presented with external challenges and opportunities. Peer Networks enables you to make connections that go far beyond networking.

By completing this programme, you will:

  • Overcome business challenges; recognise and act on new opportunities
  • Build a trusted network of connections to support you now and in the future
  • Improve your long-term personal and business performance

Programme structure

The programme involves 6 weekly online sessions of 3 hours with your peer group building towards a business-specific positioning plan, followed by an individualised 3.5 hours coaching session (1-2-1).

Meet the facilitator

Dr Isla Kapasi is an entrepreneur and one of the lead facilitators for Peer Networks and has recently shared her experience of delivering the programme.

What previous participants had to say

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I would highly recommend this programme to any owner or director of a small business. The environment provided a safe place to discuss issues with people who were facing, or had faced, similar problems. Sarah and her team were exemplary and allowed us the space to work on the business rather than in it!

Tracey Dawson, Managing Director of Daletech

Each week we are working with a group of like-minded people who are facing exactly the same challenges as all SME’s. Each week there is a different topic skilfully facilitated by a lecturer from the business school. It’s been brilliant for sharing contacts, advice, tips and tried and tested methods. Being a business leader can often be a lonely place so a network of support like this is essential.

Liz Weatherill, Managing Director of Enable 2

Upcoming dates

We are now accepting applications for the following start dates: 

  • Wednesday 27-October
    • weekly online ALS sessions run on a Wednesday
    • application closing date, 20-October
  • Thursday 04-November 
    • weekly online ALS sessions run on a Thursday
    • application closing date, 28-October
  • Wednesday 10-November
    • weekly online ALS sessions run on a Wednesday
    • application closing date, 3-November

 

How to apply

Complete the application form.

If you would like to discuss the programme, then please contact Anne Salisbury (cepe@leeds.ac.uk).

Funded by

Peer Networks are funded by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in response to a commitment made in the 2019 Business Productivity Review. 


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