Black Country business network launched

Register your interest for the Peer to Peer Networks Programme.

Local businesses are encouraged to apply to the next round of the Peer to Peer Networks Programme delivered by the Black Country Growth Hub, funded by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

As businesses continue to develop and adapt to cope with the challenges and effects of Covid-19, a second national lockdown and new trading environments post UK EU exit; there has never been a more important time to invest time in business development through working with the people who know business best.

Rachel Eade MBE, Chair of the Black Country LEP Growth Hub Competitiveness Board said: “We’ve heard from those who have already taken part that the Peer Network brings real value and on-going support particularly as Black Country businesses focus on economic recovery, new growth and skills development as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Through joining like-minded businesses, you can benefit from free Peer Networks support as companies can work together to find practical solutions to the challenges they are facing and as well as identifying new opportunities.”

Cherie Sharpe, Business Development Director at Willenhall based Accura Engineering Ltd (Connexion Technologies), a previous participant in the programme, said: “Incredibly valuable time spent with knowledgeable peers, you should make time to join as there was a take-away from each and every session. Fantastic to restore faith in good business people sharing great practices of what is working for them and helping each other through some difficult times. I loved the group, felt welcomed and valued.”

Melvin Wingfield, Director of the business at Smethwick based company, A&M EDM, also a previous participant added: “I enjoyed the Friday P2P sessions which were always valuable and made me reflect on aspects of our business such as marketing, and why we do what we do. There was always something to learn and it was convenient as an online meeting, we saved time that we would normally have spent travelling to and from the meeting venue.”

To be eligible businesses must have been trading for over a year, have at least five employees, a turnover of at least £100,000 and not previously taken part in the programme

The programme is fully funded so there is no cost to join Peer Networks, other than a few hours of individuals time each month. Businesses can join virtual sessions from home or the office.

Networking takes place virtually in structured, small-group sessions, led by professional facilitators to make sure businesses see real results in return for the investment of individual staff time. Participants will also benefit from 1:1 mentoring, coaching and advice from trained professionals.

Peer Networks brings together business leaders working collaboratively to find solutions to common problems and new opportunities. Businesses will not be placed in a group with any direct or indirect competitors, so each participant can share expertise and benefit from others.

To find out more visit the BCLEP Growth Hub website or contact the dedicated business support team at 0333 070 5805 or email