Connect and Grow

Closed 25 Jun 2023

Opened 29 May 2023


Please note, applications are now closed to participate in the Connect and Grow peer group support. 

Connect and Grow peer group support:

  • Learn from your peers: Find solutions to the real issues your business is facing by working with other local business leaders facing similar challenges.
  • All it takes is your time: Connect and Grow is a completely free programme, all it takes is a few hours of your time each month.
  • Varied delivery, real results: Activities take place in structured, small-group sessions, led by a skilled professional facilitator to make sure you see real results in return for the investment of your time.
  • Non-competitive: Connect and Grow brings together business leaders working collaboratively to find solutions to common problems. You will not be placed in a group with any competitors, so you can share your expertise and benefit from others.

How you and your business can benefit:

  • Collaborate with other business owners and decision makers to find solutions to common business challenges and identify, and act on, new opportunities.
  • Improve your long-term personal and business performance.
  • Build a trusted network of connections to support you now and in the future.
  • Receive signposting to other relevant existing and available support.
  • You will not be placed in a group with any competitors, so you can safely share your expertise and benefit from others.

The Connect and Grow peer groups format:

  • Schedule: An introductory one-to-one meeting will be held remotely by the facilitator with each group member to discuss current challenges and goals. Groups will then meet 5 times (fortnightly over 10 weeks), with each session taking place in person and lasting no more than 2 hours. The Connect & Grow peer group support is scheduled to begin in August 2023.
  • Location: Group sessions will be held in-person, with two separate peer groups operating, one located in the Derry/Londonderry area and one within the greater Belfast area.
  • The group: Led by a professional facilitator, each group will bring together up to 12 business owners or senior decision makers to work together in a collaborative, non-competitive environment, to address real world issues impacting their businesses within the broad theme of business growth and entering new markets.
  • Content: During sessions, the facilitator will use action learning to lead participants to collaboratively work through common business issues and discuss their own challenges. Action learning utilises the knowledge and skills of a small group of people, combined with questioning by a professional facilitator, to produce fresh ideas and reinterpret familiar business concepts. Through this interactive action learning, participants can share and discuss their own challenges alongside their peers, gain and reflect on valuable feedback and implement practical solutions to overcome them. Areas for discussion could include, for example, marketing strategy, social media or entering new markets. Group members are encouraged to work with the facilitator to explore topics that are relevant to their business and the group.
  • Participants commitment: All participants are requested to attend and actively engage in the full set of 5 group sessions. Participants must be willing to openly explore business opportunities and issues within a group environment and contribute to the success of others.

Who is this programme for?

Connect and Grow is open to all leaders or senior decision makers of micro-businesses and small to medium size businesses (those with less than 250 employees) based in Northern Ireland with an aspiration to grow their business, the potential to scale up or the ability or potential to trade in new markets.

How to apply:

Applications are now closed to participate in the Connect and Grow peer group support. 




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