BY Rey Carr, CEO
Peer Resources
(37 groups listed - Updated March, 2016)

Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive if not completely free. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.

These groups are not groups for generating sales leads, nor are they places where indviduals can drop-in to gain quick advice on an immediate challenge. Instead, members meet regularly and are expected to share their expertise as well as receive ideas from others. Groups can include top CEO's, business executives, and established entreprenuers as well as struggling business owners and those just getting started in business.

Members typically sign non-disclosure agreements that not only prohibit sharing the content and composition of the group with outsiders, but also prohibit using the content to gain a competitive advantage over other peer group members. Groups often include an experienced facilitator or coach and use a structured discussion method to ensure air time for all participants. Some groups include additional features such as noted speakers and one-on-one coaching.

The growth of these peer mentoring groups as well as their cost has made the decision to become a member both more likely and more difficult. For the last year I became a member of a CEO peer mentoring group to understand first hand how the group worked, gain and share business ideas for Peer Resources, and assess the outcomes.

Other than anecdotal evidence and a few testimonials from group members, there does not appear to be much evidence of the effectiveness of peer mentoring groups. This does not mean they are not effective, but it does mean that potential members of such gold-plated groups must use caution when signing up for a group to make sure the group is right for them.

American Small Business Coalition
370 U.S. government contractors around the world
Ten events monthly, focused on networking, professional development, and market intelligence. CEO's of larger companies can pay more and get one-on-one networking help and attend private meetings with other members and sometimes, government officials.
Up to $15,000
Breakfast Network
Entrepreneurs and professionals; all clients must be approved by founder
Hundreds of breakfast and cocktail meetings a year, as well as one-on-one meetings.
$8,000 and up
The Alternative Board
USA- & Canada-based CEO's, entrepreneurs, business owners
Meet monthly for half-day in peer groups of 10-12 with facilitator using structured method. Members also receive monthly 1-2 hour coaching session.
$450 initial fee and $3,000/year
Business Round Table
Open to entrepreneurs and those who have a financial interest in the business or are involved in the management of the business in Canada and the USA

Members meet once a month for about three hours. Each member signs a confidentiality agreement. Considered to be a group where members use guided mentoring to help each other. Fees are not disclosed on the website, but are typically $1000/year or $100/month (member choice)
Entrepreneurs' Organization
Members must have reached $1 million in sales by age 50
Monthly chapter meetings and smaller monthly discussion forums of eight to 12 peers.
Vistage International


CEO's of companies of any size (formerly called "TEC" - The Executive Committee) located in 15 different countries. In Canada the name is still TEC-Canada
In the most expensive programs, members attend monthly, full-day forums run by a paid facilitator, and up to 10 talks by Vistage speakers. At the lower fee level, the forums are shorter with fewer workshops.
Global Executive Forum Group
Executives, owners of non-competing industrial firms with minimum sales of $500,000
Monthly, facilitated, half-day meetings of 10 members followed by a speaker. Groups use structured learning exercises as well as discussions on specific issues of members. One-on-one meetings for 1-4 hours each quarter. Membership fee includes two people from a company. Virtual meetings are possible.
The fee is $6,000.
Inner Circle International
Business owners from wide variety of businesses in the USA (one franchise in Canada)
Members meet in groups of 10-12 once a month for three hours and use a structured model for discussion. (Franchise-based model.)
Fee data not available at press time.
Renaissance Executive Forums
Chief executives from non-competing businesses and separate group for direct reports of executives (USA and Canada)
Groups of 8-12 top executives meet for half-day monthly that includes focused peer review, a roundtalbe discussion, and an educational component. Once a quarter or monthly members meet one-on-one with meeting chairperson. A two-day workshop on success strategies is also included. Four to six times a year, direct reports of executives meet with peers from other non-competing companies. These meetings include an educational component, case studies, and diagnostic instruments and tools.
Fee data not available at press time.
Maverick Business Adventures
Entreprenuers with revenue of $1 million and up, or successful business people who earn at least $250,000/year Group provides several business trips a year in which members can meet other entrepreneurs and partake in sessions with well-known business owners. (A recent trip was to Mexico.) Fee is $10,000.
Women Presidents' Association
Leaders of companies with sales of at least $1-$2 million/year, depending on the industry Monthly three-hour forums led by trained facilitators, an annual conference, two or more regional meetings a year, and chapter retreats. Fees are $850 to $5,000.
Young Presidents' Organization
CEOs who have built companies with $8 million in sales by age 45; chapters in 100 countries A forum moderator guides 8-10 peers who meet 10 times per year. A spouse forum, young adult forum, couples forum, and family forum are also available. Fees are $7,000-$8,000 depending on chapter.
The CEO Connection
C-level executives of organizations with revenues of $500 million or more; must be nominated by existing member, and have shown leadership in field. Initiates with full-day bootcamp with 12 member maximum. In-person and online half-day forums; private briefings with top leaders Fee data not available at press time.
The Board Forum
CEOs, presidents, company owners and C-level executives primarily in the New England area. Members meet monthly for a half-day in groups of 8-12 with two facilitators. Members present challenges and receive feedback from the group. Guests also provide additional expertise and members receive one-on-one attention between meetings. Each group also has an annual 1-3-day retreat. Fees vary depending on the group and business size; the range is $1900-$12,000 per year.
Training Summit
CLOs, executives and people associated with training management Monthly teleseminars led by noted business leaders and training executives. $1000.00 per year.
Canadian Association of Family Enterprise
A not-for-profit national organization established for family-run Canadian businesses. Chapters are available throughout Canada. Personal advisory groups are formed of 10-12 persons. No competitors in any group, and family members are in separate groups. Groups meet every 4-6 weeks for 3 hours. Two-to-three day retreats at remote locations are scheduled for once or twice a year. Fees are not published.
Innovators Alliance
(905) 332-0340
A network of entrepreneurs who are CEOs. The goal is to empower each other while exploring new methods of creating value, building solutions, and encouraging each other to innovate. The intention of the group meetings is to help companies achieve growth and realize more profit. Monthly 3 hour facilitated meetings with a focus on innovation as well as strategic and tactical issues. Various chapters across Southern Ontario. Fees are $5247.00 plus applicable taxes.
Presidents of Enterprising Organizations
Canadian organization that provides four types of executive, peer to peer advisory boards. Membership based on size of organization and executive role in company. Monthly three-hour meetings with a top advisor. Annual 2.5 day retreat; enhanced annual physical exam; right to participate in special executive conference series. Some elements require extra fees. Depending on group, fees range from $5700/year to $12,000/year.
Communitech Peer 2 Peer Connections
A Canadian organization that provides peer connections for a variety of specialized job role groups in the Waterloo, Ontario area only. Group membership includes coaching from experts-in-residence Fee depends on size of company and can range from $300/year to $5,000/year.
MaGa Coaching Groups
A U.K.-based organization that provides group coaching for owners of high tech industry businesses. (First group created in 2010.) A monthly face-to-face, three-hour meeting of between 6-12 business leaders plus a monthly one-hour conference call. The group is run by a trained business and executive coach and follows a structured format to maximize insights and business improvement. Suggested minimum participation is six-months. Participants work as peer buddies in between meetings. Each group can have two kinds of members, founders (those who start the group) and regular (those who become members of an existing group). Fees depend on level of commitment and of service for the member, and range from $108/month to $232/month.
C12 Peer Advisory Groups
A group based on Christian principles for CEOs, business owners and company presidents with five or more employees. Meets once a month for a full-day in various locations in the USA. Members also meet one-on-one with coaching chair of their group. The fee is based on a tiered pricing system based on the size of the company. A franchise system is also available where individuals can purchase for $12,000 the rights to host and manage a local group and use all proprietary materials. Training as a new chair typically costs $3,000.
Tiger 21
Founded in 1999 these groups are for high net-worth investors with a focus on moving from CEO or business leader to wealth manager. Participants must be responsible for at least $10million in investments. Groups are composed of 12-14 members who meet monthly in a facilitated day-long session. Members must commit to meet for at least 10 sessions per year. Members present their portfolios and receive advice from other members during a comprehensive review that often includes family and individual factors. The emphasis is on developing effective investment principles, not specific advice as to where to invest. The membership fee is $30,000/year. Chapters are available in major cities in the USA.
The Wisdom Collective
A Vancouver BC-based in-person group where participants are divided into three different groups depending on role responsibility: the Cedar Group for managers and leaders who supervise staff; and the Spruce Group executive and directors who manage managers. Groups are led by a certified executive coach and meet monthly for three-hours each month for six months. Members receive one-on-one coaching, customized goal attainment action plans, a learning journal and reference materials. The fee for the Cedar group is $1299+tax; the fee for the Spruce group is $1599+tax (prices in Canadian dollars). Nutrition breaks are included in the fee. At present only available in the Vancouver BC area.
ELC Roundtable
An Oklahoma City, Oklahoma-based group that assists members to be successful in business and life. Additional cities are scheduled to be developed, including Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and Houston. Their goal is to eventually have a membership of 10,000 participants. Meetings typically take place twice a week for one-hour and members take turns chairing the meeting. Each chair can decide to bring in speakers, books or other materials to support topics under discussion. Two levels of membership are available: Individual ($2400) for owners/entrepreneurs with a small to mid-size staff; and Corporate ($4500) for companies wishing to have two people participate each week.
Known Leader
Founded by Michael Berg and Ken Nangle, this peer-to-peer advisory board focuses on business acceleration and executive coaching. Participation is by invitation-only. Boards consist of 8-10 non-competing business owners who meet monthly for four hours. Members have access to telephone coaching, personal coaching and team coaching in addition to their basic group membership. The annual fee for a basic membership is $2995.00. Additional fees are involved with telephone coaching, personal coaching and team coaching beyond the basic membership fee.

Ecademy Boardrooms

Tel: 07880 794127
This peer-to-peer business advisory group is available in various locations around the United Kingdom. Members meet in-person once a month, and groups consist of up to 12 experienced professionals. Each group is led by a trained Chairperson. A code of ethics for meetings is published on their website. Fees are unknown and not available on the website.
Lighthouse Peer Mentoring
Applicants must apply and selection typically occurs in September. Available in the Whistler, BC area only. Groups typically meet in-person once a month for six months with a trained facilitator. Four different groups available (business owners, female entrepreneurs, employees seeking growth, and emerging leaders). Each group has its own additional services. Fees range from $249 to $479 depending on the type of group.
Boomer Consulting
(785) 537-2358
This organization specializes in creating peer groups to guide accounting firms in the areas of leadership and management; client development, talent development, technology, and compensation. From 15-25 people from peer-sized accounting firms help each other with 90-day game plans, share metrics and best practices and experiences with emerging technologies. Four different groups are available: the CEO Advantage peer group for managing partners (meets twice per year); the CIO Advantage peer group for technology professionals (meets for two-days twice per year); the Producer Circle for business and IT savvy thought leaders (meets twice per year with an additional four webinars); and the Technology Circles for IT Directors and Partners (meets three times per year). In person meetings typically take place in Kansas City, Kansas or San Francisco. Annual membership for an accounting firm is $7500.
Council on Executive Coaching
(Conference Board)
(212) 339-0230
The Council assists senior human resources or organization development executives, or managers in charge of corporate executive coaching programs within organizations with over $1B in revenue to examine the nuts and bolts of executive coaching. Peer learning meetings take place at least once a year and typically in New York City. Meetings cover such topics as neuroscience, managing risk in coaching, appreciative coaching, peer coaching, and transition coaching, and measuring ROI and coaching fee structures. Meetings are facilitated by a subject matter expert and run by an executive committee of the Council. Fee for participation is $8,500, and participants must be members of The Conference Board.
(206) 230-9070
This group brings together small groups of CEOs, presidents, or business owners (Innovation Teams) to work on their leadership issues. The organization also has a CEO to CEO Breakfast Series, held six times per year with the purpose of hearing a speaker and acting as a catalyst for peer-to-peer networking. Up to 15 executives meet every six weeks for four hours, eight times per year. A content expert attends each meeting, and the groups are facilitated by one of the two founders of the organization. At present meetings only take place in the Pacific Northwest. A LinkedIn discussion group is used to develop ideas between sessions. Fee for participation in the group is $US3,700 for the eight team meetings.
Presidents's Resource Organization
(312) 337-3658

PRO groups, founded in 1993, are made up of local entrepreneurs, small business owners, and key executives who meet monthly to tap into the collective wisdom of the group. Group meetings are primarily in the Phoenix and Chicago-areas. To join, potential members complete a questionnaire, a one-on-one interview, and then attend a group to determine whether there is a fit. (The website provides a video sample of a group meeting.) Specific fee information is not available on the website.
Peer Success Circles
(747) 224-7253
Skype: successcircles
Established in 2005 by Joseph J. Varghese as a mastermind group, these groups are for executives, entrepreneurs, business owners, writers and artists, mentors and coaches. Theoretical foundations rely on NLP, e-myth, and a focus on accountability. The core method of these groups centers on articipants engaging in one-on-one accountability buddy calls (not necessarily in-person) and optional weekly community calls. Buddies are assigned based on goals and drive for growth, and participants work with a variety of buddies every two-to-four weeks. Fees are approximately $466.60 for a full year or $77.60 per month. Fee details are available here.
Sage Executive Group
(800) 648-1063

Established in 2012; CEO's from $4 million plus companies meet monthly for 5 hours with a group of 12; C-level executives and sales and marketing personnel meet monthly for 2.5 hours. Groups of a maximum of 12 from diverse industries meet monthly with a paid facilitator; meetings are primarily in the San Diego, California area. Specific fee information is not available on the website.
CEO World
+351 918 242 132
Skype: migueldias.purpose

Executives from startups, large corporations, SMEs meet monthly via videoconferencing for 2 hours with a group of 5 CEO peers, founders, or future CEOs from around the globe. Each group has a chair person and the focus is on sharing peer-to-peer experience and feedback; 24/7 support is available, and group members can speak in their native language. In-person forums are held quarterly. The fee depends on the size of the company, and the average fee is $US500/yr.

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