Accessibility statement

Peer Networks Programme 2021 - 2022

The programme is now closed for registrations. We hope to offer similar schemes in the future.

The Programme

Peer Networks was a fully funded national peer-to-peer networking programme specifically designed to enable small business owners to grow their businesses. Ambitious businesses in York and North Yorkshire had the opportunity to come together and work collaboratively as part of the programme which was delivered by the Universities team of experienced facilitators through a series of high impact online group sessions.

The programme created diverse groups of business leaders and senior managers from SMEs across York and North Yorkshire, who collaborated on their business challenges and opportunities, gained and reflected on valuable feedback given and implemented practical solutions to overcome them.

York and North Yorkshire Growth Hub

The programme was delivered locally by the University of York on behalf of York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub. The Growth Hub provides free expertise, support and resources to help businesses grow. Should you have any queries regarding this or any other programme we have provided please contact us on

Programme Benefits

Peer Networks enabled businesses to make connections that went far beyond networking. By completing the Peer Network Programme delegates:-

  • overcame business challenges and recognised and acted upon new opportunities
  • built a trusted network of connections
  • improved their long-term personal and business performance

Programme structure

The programme involved 6 bi-weekly online sessions building towards a business-specific positioning plan, followed by individualised 3.5 hours of coaching. 

Case study - Ian Walker & Associates

Ian Walker wanted to change his thinking around issues of work-life balance and recruitment.
Find out how the Peer Network Programme helped him achieve this, and develop some additional ideas around client and team management. 

Testimonials from previous participants

“Facing business challenges, especially in these uncertain times, can be lonely and it's often difficult to see the wood for the trees. The Peer Learning Programme provided me with an instant network of business leaders facing similar challenges. The programme has allowed us to speak together openly and support each other to find solutions. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience. 

Brent Woods, Yorkshire Film Archive, 2021/22

“The peer network programme was a great way to meet new businesses that otherwise I would not have crossed paths with. It was really useful in learning about different industries and the similar challenges we all face at senior levels within them. I would recommend it for new leaders or business owners that are feeling a little overwhelmed within their position and need some outside advice”. 

Jess Valenghi, Pick and Mix Marketing, 2021/22

"Having recently gone through North Yorkshire Growth Hubs’ Peer to Peer Networking Programme in conjunction with the University of York I have found that the levels of learning through working with experts as well as other businesses in the Area who share many of the same aspirations and challenges second to none’ . Both my business and myself have gained much out of the programme and are grateful for the learnings taken from it." 

Mark Sanchez-Garcia, Managing Director, Excellence Floorcare, 2020/21


" I would strongly encourage any business owner to take part in the Peer-to Peer Networking Programme. It provides an invaluable opportunity to discuss business challenges in a structured and supportive environment. The sessions often make you appreciate the commonality of business problems and the reassurance that help is out there. " 

Simon Crack, Director Hethertons, 2020/21


"It was good to have a diverse set of supportive views and challenge to help me think about issues in my business amongst a group of local peer group leaders." 

Nick Bradley, Founder & CEO, Mandala Leaders, 2020/21

Funded by

The programme was funded by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in response to a commitment made in the 2019 Business Productivity Review (BPR) and there was no cost to the business/individual participating.


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