Peer Networks: What does it involve?

Run by SEMLEP’s Growth Hub and its delivery partners, the Peer Networks programme is an opportunity for business leaders to join a group of their peers to share experience, knowledge and advice, and to learn new skills from business experts. The programme consists of a number of group sessions, during which there is time for free discussion, focused one-to-one meetings and structured learning.

There is no strict content plan for each session, and each week’s topics are intended only to help facilitate group discussions. The participants will also input on the topics they would like to talk about. However, over the course of the programme, subjects that could be covered include (but are not limited to):

  • Finance
  • Human resources
  • Sales and marketing
  • Adjusting to social distancing
  • Business model innovation
  • Change management
  • Embedding formal management processes and structures
  • Digital, including cyber security, and adoption and implementation of technology
  • Use of data to drive value in the business
  • Working with the EU
  • Net zero


Building on the success of previous Peer Networks programmes, a flexible session plan has been created, giving participants the opportunity to discuss all of these topics and more over the course of eighteen hours of group sessions:

Week one will be the launch session, during which the group will be able to meet, introduce themselves and get to know each other, and expectations will be set for the rest of the course.

During weeks two, three and four the group will discuss the topics of marginal gains, how to build and nurture customer advocacy for your business, and customers, competitors, and how each relates to their business. During week five, the group members will discuss topics around taking on new employees, and how to build efficient, effective teams within their businesses.

There will then be a break from the cohort sessions for a week, with week seven being the last of the formal sessions. It is during this final meeting that each group member will draw up their Action Plan, based on what they have learnt during the course of the programme.

On top of this, each participant will get two ninety-minute one-to-one sessions; the first during weeks one and two, and the second during weeks three and four. Each group member will then receive a final thirty-minute one-to-one catch-up session before the Action Plans cohort meeting.

This marks the end of the Peer Networks cohort. However, as the participants each go to implement their actions plans and take their businesses to the next level, there’s no reason why the group members can’t continue to stay in touch with each other. By doing so, they can carry on providing and receiving the support, advice, knowledge and accountability that they each benefitted from during the course of the programme.


Peer Networks is a unique opportunity for business leaders to develop their knowledge, hone their skills and build commercial and personal relationships that will benefit them for years to come. With a flexible and responsive content plan and university-led delivery, this is an opportunity not to be missed.


To find out more about the Peer Networks programme, and whether your business might be eligible, click here.