Peer Networks is a national initiative that is delivered locally through the LEP network and their respective Growth Hubs. The programme’s longer-term aims are focused on reducing the UK productivity gap by helping business leaders find practical solutions to strategic and operational challenges. It also forms part of the UK Government response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing EU transition, seeking to improve the resilience of SMEs, their
capability to adapt their business models to the “new normal” and position themselves for future success, driving longer-term productivity gains.

The Programme forms an important part of the Government’s drive to improve productivity and deliver part of the economic response to the effect of COVID-19 on businesses. It will provide support to SMEs as they move into and through the Recovery phase of COVID-19 response. The aim is to improve SME’s capability to adapt their business models to the “new normal”, position themselves for future success and drive longer term productivity gains through improved leadership and management skills and tech adoption.

Growth Platform wish to procure a number of suppliers to facilitate the Peer Networks cohorts. In total we wish to procure the delivery of a minimum of 14 cohorts comprising of 11 participants with each supplier bidding for a maximum of 2 cohorts. The programme runs for 12 months and we anticipate an initial intake of participants and cohorts launched in May/June and again in September/October, with all group sessions having been delivered by end February 2022.

We expect to deliver a combination of mixed/general cohorts and specific cohorts focussing on for example, although not limited to; geography, sector, business size, female led businesses, BAME led businesses and high growth businesses.

The programme requires an increase in participation from business leaders from underrepresented groups who are female, BAME, disabled.

Growth Platform are committed to widening diversity and
participation from marginalised and underrepresented groups and particularly welcomes suppliers who will engage with and recruit
participants from the aforementioned groups.

Successful suppliers will need to understand the business support landscape within the region to ensure that the service provided will complement and add value to the support currently available
within the region to help SMEs. Suppliers are expected to provide all platforms, premises, equipment and materials required for the delivery of the programme, unless agreed in advance through specific arrangements.