The mentors are made up from the small business community and can be accessed through www.mentorsme.co.uk, the national mentoring portal owned and operated by the British Bankers’ Association (BBA).
The 15,000 trained recruits joined 12,000 existing business mentors from across 115 mentoring organisations available through the portal.
The volunteer mentors have been recruited and trained over the past 16 months as part of the £1.9 million Government-funded Get Mentoring project, delivered by the Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative (SFEDI). Their aim is to harness the experience of business people to train them as mentors and share their expertise with new and growing businesses increasing their success rate.
Business Minister Michael Fallon said: "Small businesses are vital to our economy and we are determined to help them get on and succeed. We have invested in mentoring because we know that good mentors can provide the practical advice and support that an entrepreneur needs to take their business idea to the next level. They have been there and done it and can pass that experience on. I want to encourage people to come forward and take advantage of the mentoring network."
Ruth Lowbridge, Executive Chair of SFEDI, said: "Over the past year SFEDI has trained volunteers in every corner of the UK who have been hugely inspiring to support new and growing business and to build on their skills as a mentor. These are dedicated individuals who have generously agreed to share their hard earned business experiences with others in order to support their success thus contributing to the economic activity and wealth of the UK. With their continuing enthusiasm and support, we look forward to seeing many more mentoring relationships develop in the coming months."
To ensure the volunteers’ new skills are put to use, over the next three months SFEDI is delivering a new programme of ‘Meet a Mentor’ events to connect small businesses looking for help with the volunteer business mentors. The first event takes place at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on February 15 and will involve over 100 small businesses and entrepreneurs.
If you wish to comment on this article, please log in and use the Reply button below. Registering is free and easy - see 'Join Shout99'.
Susie Hughes © Shout99 2013