Publish date: 07/04/2022

Enterprise North Canterbury (ENC) has launched a new initiative that offers peer support to business owners in the North Canterbury region.

The ENC Peer Support Initiative involves over 20 peer support providers: long-standing, successful North Canterbury business operators who have volunteered to offer their time, knowledge and insight to other businesses that may be struggling with the challenges of recent years.

Businesses simply register for the free service through ENC, provide details on their main challenges and are then matched to the peer support provider that has the most relevant experience in that area. ENC then facilitates an introduction and the two business operators are free to arrange a casual meeting at a time and place that suits them both.

“The idea is that our peer support providers will be able to offer a much-needed listening ear along with some specific ideas, guidance or suggestions,” explains Guy Graham, ENC Business Growth Advisor. “It’s intended as a casual, friendly arrangement rather than a formal business coaching opportunity; just two people from the same business community giving and receiving a bit of support.”

The peer support providers come from a wide range of industries, but all possess a high level of knowledge and skills in their field along with proven business nous.

“The calibre of our peer support providers is second to none,” says Guy. “We are incredibly lucky to have these experienced business people operating in our region and willing to volunteer their time and support to the wider business community.”

The initiative was launched with the aim of extending ENC’s business support service in an innovative and informal way.

“ENC has been helping North Canterbury businesses through challenging times for many years, but more often than not, that has been through a formal process of connecting them with Government funding, training or specific opportunities,” Guy explains. “We see this as a slightly different yet no less effective means of business support that also checks in on the business owners’ overall wellbeing and allows our local business community to connect with one another.

“ENC will of course still be here after the peer support meeting to provide any further advice, connections or referrals that may have been discussed during the initial peer support catch-up.”

The Peer Support Initiative is available to all North Canterbury business operators. Businesses can register through the ENC Website: www.northcanterbury.co.nz/training-events/tools-for-the-times-north-canterbury-peer-support-initiative-2/.

The Peer Support Initiative is the second event in ENC's new Tools for the Times series: a collection of business support opportunities acknowledging the difficulties of operating a business through COVID-19 and beyond. The first event was an Informational Evening on April 6th, providing a toolbox of information and data to help businesses navigate the current climate.