Published: February 4th, 2022
Two businesses have heaped praise on a business support network designed to help leaders learn from each other.
Beth Heath, director of fun at Shropshire Festivals, and James Lloyd, who runs two businesses in Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire, are taking part in the Peer Networks Programme, which brings together leaders from a range of businesses to share their experiences and learn from each other.
The programme, which is now closed for new applications, was fully funded by the Government and supported by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership and Marches Growth Hub. It helps the companies involved share knowledge, benefit from expert one-to-one advice and take advantage of new opportunities as the economy bounces back from the impact of the pandemic.
It is one of a huge range of programmes available through the Marches Growth Hub to support businesses across the region and help them meet their ambitions to develop and grow.
James, who runs home care agency Total Living Care and website chat service Chat4Business, said he was hugely impressed with the programme after the first four of its ten sessions.
“I heard about the scheme through the Marches Growth Hub and am delighted to be taking part. I have learned something from every session I have been part of so far and hopefully have given something back as well.
“In the latest session we were discussing the recruitment crisis – something which is particularly hitting our social care business – and trying to find solutions. As a result of our conversations I am looking at the possibility of looking overseas for care staff.
“Taking the time out from the day-to-day business has proved to be really important too. It has been really useful to hear from other people who are having similar experiences and share the knowledge that is around the table.”
Beth, whose Shropshire Festivals company is responsible for some of the county’s best-loved events, including Shrewsbury Food Festival and Oktoberfest, said the fully-funded programme had been an inspiration.
“The sessions have given me three hours a week in which I can step back from the business and think about it in a deeper, more strategic way, as well as the chance to share my experiences with others and tap in to a rich knowledge base.
“I’ve been able to pass on some of the lessons I have learnt running festivals over the years and have found it a really brilliant way for business owners to come together and learn from each other.
“I cannot wait for the one-to-one sessions with our business expert which will be the icing on the cake of a really worthwhile experience.”
Executive coach Leon Mundey, of Neale Lewis Associates, which is delivering the programme across the Marches, said he was delighted with the success of the programme to date.
“Our three cohorts are already up and running and the feedback from all of those taking part has been excellent. It is a pleasure to see the exchange of ideas and information among the various business leaders.
“Although the cohorts have not reached even the halfway stage yet, we can already see the value that they are gaining from the sessions and the benefits these are bringing to their businesses.”
As well as the group sessions businesses will also receive two separate one-to-one sessions with an expert adviser.
Places are still available on the final cohort. To join the programme contact Leon at [email protected]