‘Don’t miss out’ – Successful Peer Networks initiative makes its final call

The OxLEP Business-run programme Peer Networks has called on businesses to grab the last few places available before time runs out.

The programme’s organiser, Anthony Parsons, says 250 people have already completed the programme. “It’s been very popular, and we want to make sure no one misses out, so it is imperative people get in touch with us. Businesses have to confirm their interest by the end of January, so time is already tight.”

The Peer Networks (which are entirely free) differ from many other support programmes because it is all about businesses sharing and encouraging each other in facilitated groups.

Ant explains: “It is a really simple formula which works on the basis that a problem aired is often a problem solved. And when it comes to business there is a lot of experience around which can be extremely useful. They’re sharing their acumen and helping each other to grow. Some of the groups are really diverse, from all sorts of different business sectors, but they find common ground and take a lot from the perspectives others have of the problems they discuss.”

Rhys Saunders is a director at Lick Me I’m Delicious, a highly innovative event-based enterprise based at the Monument Business Park in Chalgrove. He was one of 8 people in a Peer Network group which met fortnightly in facilitated video events.

“It’s a really honest forum which made it easy to participate. Each of us brought our challenges to the group and then had the chance to explore the advice, opinions and interesting ideas and solutions offered by the others.”

“It’s been great seeing how others put their expertise towards my issues. I’ve heard about new ways to do things, alternative approaches to business and been challenged about some of my own views too.”

Along with the support of the peer network, Rhys has also had 1-2-1 support in areas he wanted to develop, including ways to be a better leader.

“There is only funding for one more round of Peer Networks” Anthony Parsons at OxLEP Business explains. ”We are especially keen to hear from people who might have heard about it already, but not yet got around to joining in. And I’d certainly encourage women in business to grab a place. Women are natural collaborators, so this is a fantastic initiative for building your support network and knowledge.”

Sam Kandiyali, a director of Target PR, took part in a Peer Network and recommends it to anyone looking to improve their business prospects.

“I’d encourage anyone to join the Peer Networks initiative. Why wouldn’t you? I mean it’s a couple of hours every other week. And the amount of time you spend for the benefit you get back, I think it’s a no brainer.”

The final opportunity ends on January 31st.

There is more information at www.oxlepbusiness.co.uk/peer-networks

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