Thames Valley Berkshire Business Growth Hub is setting up a women-in-business group, as well as mixed cohorts, as part of this year’s peer-to-peer networking programme for Berkshire SMEs. Recognising the benefits of diversity in business, the Berkshire Growth Hub is also encouraging business leaders from all backgrounds, ethnicities and industries to register for the free programme.
Commenting exclusively to The Business Magazine, Julian Mobbs (pictured), from the Berkshire Growth Hub, said: “Only 13% of participants in last year’s pilot programme were female, so we are particularly keen to encourage more female business leaders to sign-up. We’d also like to see more applications from companies in the creative and digital tech sectors.”
He added: “Each of the groups in the programme is carefully compiled to ensure maximum diversity and that competitors are not placed in the same sessions. By doing this, participants can benefit from a wider range of perspectives and knowledge in each discussion.”
The Growth Hub is part of the Government’s national Peer Networks initiative. The networking programme brings together cohorts of business leaders to discuss business challenges and opportunities. Delivered through a series of six online group sessions with a trained facilitator, business owners share their first-hand experiences, discuss common issues and identify practical solutions to overcome them. The programme aims to help SMEs create a trusted local support network, adapt and improve productivity.
The programme is open to SMEs that have a minimum of five employees and an annual turnover of a least £100,000. It is delivered by the Berkshire Growth Hub in partnership with Asesoria Group.
Since it was established in 2014, the Berkshire Growth Hub has supported over 5,000 small and medium-sized businesses across Berkshire. A one-stop-shop for business advice, the team has successfully helped businesses raise finance, increase profitability, and devise growth strategies.
Asesoria Group is a professional services company specialising in governance, sustainability and leadership. It works with businesses from across industry sectors and with different ownership structures.
The Peer Network programme is funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and is being delivered locally by the network of Growth Hubs across England.