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Businesses act quickly to gain a place on the Peer Networks programme

Places on Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP)’s Peer Networks programme are swiftly filling up, with five of the ten cohorts now at capacity.

Businesses wishing to take advantage of the scheme are therefore urged to register quickly for the final cohorts.

The programme, delivered locally by qualified facilitators commissioned by CLEP, will offer over 100 local businesses the opportunity to build resilience, develop their capability and grow.

CLEP will be supported in delivering the programme by the following organisations:

  • Cumbria Chamber of Commerce
  • Entrepreneurial Spark
  • Skills for Care
  • The Leadership Secret
  • Thomas Jardine & Co.

It is part of a Government funded national peer-to-peer networking programme for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) who want to overcome business challenges and strengthen their organisations for future success.

A Peer Networks Taster Session will be held on Tuesday 1 December, 11am-12pm, giving business leaders and key decision makers the opportunity to find out how Peer Networks will benefit their business, prior to officially registering:

Miranda Kirschel, CLEP’s Head of Business and Innovation, said: “We are delighted that five of our Peer Networks cohorts have now been filled: three by Cumbria Chamber of Commerce and two by Thomas Jardine & Co. It is fantastic that we have the support of some of our leading organisations to help us deliver this important new support programme for Cumbrian SMEs.

“Through the Peer Networks programme, we create diverse cohort groups of individuals to collaboratively work through common business issues. Through interactive action learning, we’ll enable participants to discuss their own challenges, gain and reflect on valuable feedback and implement practical solutions to overcome them.

“From finance and HR to sales, marketing and more, expert facilitators will create a trusted support network that works for participants, helping them to build and strengthen their business and improve its overall performance.

“With the cohorts swiftly filling up, we would strongly urge all businesses who are interested to find out more and register with us now.”

Cohorts of 8-11 leaders from the SME business community will participate in each network. Participants have a choice of joining a mixed sector cohort or they could opt for a sector focused group.

Led by an experienced facilitator, these Peer Networks will typically meet fortnightly as part of delivering 18 hours of action learning through 2-3 hour sessions. In addition, individual one-to-one support will be provided to help business leaders implement and manage change.

The programme is open to any SME business that has:

  • Operated for at least 1 year
  • At least 2 employees
  • A turnover of at least 100k
  • An aspiration to improve

The programme is now underway and cohorts will be managed in a phased process, through to the end of March 2021.

The Peer Networks Programme is funded by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in response to a commitment made in the 2019 Business Productivity Review. The local accountable body for the Peer Networks programme is Cumbria County Council.

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