The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is offering local business owners and leaders the opportunity to build networks and strengthen their business in a series of workshops this summer.

Those taking part in the 2021 programme will be able to learn from each other’s experience and establish trusted connections during tailor-made sessions as part of the Solent LEP’s Local Business Support Network programme.

Paddy Lightfoot, Managing Director of Hydromar Limited who joined the 2020 programme, said:

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“I can unreservedly say that it has surpassed my expectation – it’s been a mixture of input from a skilled facilitator, bringing his wealth of knowledge and experience to bear and also information and collaboration from other members of the group.  I was looking for help and ideas specifically on how to grow my business; I now have two developing workstreams which I know will deliver some of that growth.”

SJ Hunt, Deputy Chair of the LEP and Chair of the Solent LEP’s Business Task Force said:

“Businesses are most likely to look to peers and professional networks for advice, and this programme has been designed for those from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to collaborate with like-minded people to build a network that works for them.

“Over 100 people benefited from our programme last year, and I’d urge anyone who wants to see their business performance improve in 2021 to take a look. Businesses have faced enormous challenges over the past year, but there are also opportunities to adapt and create new ways of working. This programme is an ideal chance to hear how others are facing these challenges at the same time as making useful connections.”

The national programme of peer networking is fully funded and delivered locally by the Solent LEP using expert facilitators who support active learning through the sessions, and offer tailored one-to-one coaching for every attendee.

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Aimed at SME leaders, managers and decision-makers, the Local Business Support Network is for those who want to grow and develop their organisation for future success.

The Local Business Support Network works with small groups of individuals to work through common business issues together, discuss challenges and implement workable solutions. Groups are carefully assembled to take account of business competitiveness and sensitivities.

As well as mixed groups of businesses from different sectors and backgrounds, those taking part also have the opportunity to join groups with other women in business, or business leaders from ethnic minority groups.

Acknowledging that the impact of the pandemic varies by business sector, interested SMEs are encouraged to contact the Solent LEP directly to discuss eligibility criteria. Contact nicky.smi[email protected] to find out more about the support available for your business, or sign up at:

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