Published: April 27, 2021 | Updated: April 28, 2021

Business leaders urged to take up places as Evolve wins nine more peer groups in Dorset

By Andrew Diprose, editor

Evolve – the community for entrepreneurs and business leaders – has been awarded more peer groups for both the Dorset and Solent Local Enterprise Partnerships.

It’s part of the continued Peer Networks programme and is funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The national initiative is designed to bring SME business leaders together in facilitated sessions to share experience and expertise.

Dorset’s new award of £300,000 to fund further groups is equal third highest in England, with only Greater Manchester and Lancashire receiving more.

It reflects the success of the inaugural scheme in 2020/21.

Evolve has been allocated nine Peer Network groups to run over the next 12 months, and also four for the Solent LEP.

Working virtually in groups of 11, sessions are facilitated by experienced business coaches and focus on key areas of business development.

Each participant is also supported with dedicated one-to-one support, allowing them further opportunity to digest and discuss aspects of running and growing a business.

Warren Munson, Evolve Founder, pictured left, said: “In delivering the first phase of the Peer Networks programme we saw incredible collaboration and support given by the participants to each other.

“As well as significant commercial outcomes, individuals were able to develop and grow as business leaders.

“I would encourage all business leaders to take advantage of this great initiative.

“I often say if you put like-minded individuals together great things can happen and this programme is evidence of that.”

In the first round of the Peer Networks programme, presented in late 2020 and early 2021, Evolve supported more than 90 business leaders with its monthly, virtually delivered, peer groups.

The response was overwhelmingly positive.

Comments received included:

  • Rosie Radwell, Managing Director, Marsham Court Hotel: “The honesty of the group has been phenomenal, and Warren helped from the very beginning to make every effort for the group to know this is a safe environment.”
  • Wayne Nennsteil, Owner, Goddards Quantity Surveyors: “These sessions mean you can put your business aside and concentrate on yourself, to reflect, then re-focus your energies back into being a successful business owner.”
  • Emma Lynch, Founder and Director of BBD Boom: “As a member of such a collaborative, non-judgmental group, I am able to engage in discussions with like-minded business owners facing similar challenges.”

The Peer Networks Programme is free for owners, directors and senior managers whose business employs between 5 and 250, has been in operation for more than 12 months and has a minimum turnover of £100,000.

For more information and to register for the Peer Networks programme, click here.