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Business supportPeer Networks provides Greater Manchester SMEs with opportunity to be stronger together

Peer Networks provides Greater Manchester SMEs with opportunity to be stronger together

Business leaders in Greater Manchester have the chance to join a flourishing network that promises to help support, develop and grow their SMEs.
Peer Networks unites small groups of owners and directors to address shared challenges, devise solutions, and maximise their combined expertise and experience.
Funded by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the programme is being delivered by GC Business Growth Hub, part of The Growth Company.
Participants are able to join virtual sessions, where they will receive valuable insights that lead to practical day-to-day solutions to the real issues their business is facing.
Dawn Duggan, Head of People, Skills & Talent at the Hub said: “We received fantastic feedback from the those who have taken part in Peer Networks since its launch last autumn.
“The programme has provided a forum for business owners to work together to support each other in a non-competitive environment, which has proved invaluable in what are obviously demanding times.”
Kashif Ashraf is the co-founder and joint chair of Asian Business Leaders, who delivered the first Peer Networks programme on behalf of Hub partner, the Ostro Fayre Share Foundation.

He said: “The participants really bonded well over the action learning, and passionately got involved in trying to understand each other’s business and the support they could provide.

“The sessions were so inspirational that they are planning a reunion once conditions allow, and a couple of them have begun more formal business collaborations.”

Each Peer Network consists of 11 senior figures from the Greater Manchester SME community and is led by a facilitator. The group will usually meet fortnightly to discuss a series of common business problems.

Individual one-to-one support will also be provided to help to implement and manage change within each individual business.

Gemma Gray, Head of Operations at Mastercall Healthcare in Stockport, joined up last year.

She said: “Peer Networks allowed me to meet and work with some wonderful people from different industries, to gain new perspectives on leadership issues that are common, even across such different organisations.

“The one-to-one tutor session really helped me work on some long-standing obstacles and I’ve already implemented some changes in our organisation – to the benefit of the staff and the leadership teams. I am so glad to have taken part, and now feel more confident in my own skills and attributes.”

Jane Kasbia, Managing Director at KitsByDarren KDB Ltd, said: “I joined following a recommendation from a business contact. It was a very rewarding experience, getting to know other businesses owners from the local area, hearing about their issues and being able to help them.

“I would highly recommend Peer Networks. We are all busy people, but by taking part you will realise how much we can help each other out.”

To find out more about Peer Networks, or to register an interest in joining, please visit https://peernetworks.co.uk/. There is no cost and you will not be placed in a group with any competitors.
Businesses looking to access specialist support can visit www.businessgrowthhub.com for more information about GC Business Growth Hub’s extensive range of services. This and other Hub projects are part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of a project designed to help ambitious SME businesses achieve growth and increase employment in Greater Manchester. The Hub is also supported by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Greater Manchester local authorities.

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