FUNDING is being offered to help small businesses tap into expert mentoring, coaching and advice.

The University of York is delivering a peer-to-peer networking programme for leaders of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) that want to grow and develop their organisation.

Peer Networks is a fully-funded programme which allows companies to invest in and boost their post-Covid recovery by working with like-minded business leaders.

By collaborating for just a few hours a month, attendees can solve business issues, build a trusted network, improve long-term personal and business performance and access one-to-one mentoring, coaching or advice.

Peer Network, which is being supported by the York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub, is being delivered in partnership with the University of York through a series of group sessions.

Peer Networks is open to small to medium-size businesses. Preference will be given to businesses that have been in operation for one year; have between five and 50 employees; a desire to improve; and a turnover of at least £100,000.

Companies should also ideally have the potential to scale up and export, or are already exporting.

Limited funded places are available. Companies should book here.

Anna Hastie, head of continuing professional development for the university, said: “The new, expanded peer networking programme provides a superb opportunity for regional SMEs to learn from each other in a collaborative, non-competitive environment.

"Hearing how other businesses have found practical solutions to their existing challenges has proved invaluable."

Professor Kiran Trehan, pro-vice-chancellor for partnerships & engagement, said: "Research has shown how invaluable peer-to-peer interaction can be in assisting with business growth, product development, innovative problem-solving and re-assessment of business growth objectives, as well as for the personal development of those who participate.”

Simon Crack, of Hethertons Solicitors, a delegate on the previous programme said: “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.”