Company bosses set to benefit from free training sessions to help boost their businesses
- Credit: Jess Winlow
Five cohorts from businesses across Suffolk and Norfolk have already signed up for new government-funded sessions aimed at helping them through the pandemic and increasing their post-Brexit productivity.
The Peer Network Programme is run on a first-come, first-served basis, with sessions starting on November 2.
New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Growth Hub network is delivering the programme in partnership with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
It forms part of the UK government response to the coronavirus pandemic and the Brexit transition. Over the longer term, the aim is to cut the UK productivity gap.
MORE – Halfords to recruit hundreds of MOT testersLocally, up to 250 eligible Norfolk and Suffolk small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be supported via the programme which is free at the point of delivery and has a national funding budget of £20m.
It operates as 25 cohorts, with each cohort having 11 participants, which are all business leaders such as chief executives, general managers or managing directors.
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Each cohort undertakes up to 18 hours of high-impact fortnightly group sessions which are carried out via video conference. Sessions involve “creative thinking, brave decision-making and shared success”, say organisers.
Participants may also receive up to 3.5 hours of bespoke one-to-one support. Sessions are delivered by professional facilitators and will be completed by March 2021.
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Sessions will usually take place on a fortnightly basis with all sessions fully completed by March 2021.
New Anglia Growth Hub manager Richard Glinn said: “We are extremely pleased to be able to offer such a valuable support programme, which complements the other programmes that we deliver including our popular Scale-Up programme.
“Covid-19 has affected local businesses ability to trade, grow and self-promote. I’m confident the Peer Network Programme will support them in a non-competitive environment, helping them overcome common problems and creating a trusted network that will boost their business in the long-term.”
Professional facilitator Sarah Brockwell of The Consortium is among those delivering the programme.
“I’m expecting the sessions to be catalysts for SMEs to innovate with new products or services and to find ways to pivot. Our aim is for the SMEs not just to survive but to thrive,” she said.