Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
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Free training launched to boost business mentors

Free training launched to boost business mentors

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 14 February 2012

An innovative online training tool has been launched to help get thousands of experienced business people mentoring small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

The new training tool is part of the Get Mentoring scheme launched in November that is recruiting 15,000 new mentors to help entrepreneurs fulfil their potential.

The tool, provided by the Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative (SFEDI) at www.getmentoring.org, is free to use, making it even easier for people to get mentoring and join the growing network of volunteer business mentors.

Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk said:

“This training tool is vital to help build our growing network of trained mentors. Mentoring is a very effective way for aspiring entrepreneurs to get the help and support they need to succeed. It enables business people to harness the knowledge and expertise of those who have been there and done it before.

“Having worked as a mentor I know how rewarding it can be to use your business experience and help someone who is eager to learn. I would encourage business people of all ages and backgrounds to get involved in mentoring as it really can help to give a new or growing business a boost in their development.”

Entrepreneurs looking for a mentor will be able to access mentors recruited by Get Mentoring through www.mentorsme.co.uk, launched last summer.

This year the Government is running the Business in You campaign to encourage more people to start or grow their business throughout 2012 using a range of existing support services, such as business mentors.

Tim Whitehall is the Managing Director and co-founder of a construction consultant company in Chester, Room 4 Consulting, and has recently completed the training, he said:

“I’ve always thought about mentoring because I think real experience of making difficult decisions in challenging situations is invaluable to another business owner and I was keen to share my knowledge. When I spotted the Get Mentoring scheme I instantly knew it was something I wanted to get involved in.”

The Get Mentoring project was launched in November 2011. Over 3,000 people have already signed up with almost 2,000 people having completed the training at workshops across the country. They have joined the thousands of mentors already available at www.mentorsme.co.uk. The project is backed by a range of partners including the Institute of Directors, the Federation of Small Businesses, the Forum of Private Business and the National Enterprise Network.

Phil Orford, Chief Executive, Forum of Private Business said:

“We believe there is a rich supply of would-be mentors working in businesses across the country, willing to share their years of experience. The online course supports a consistent and quality approach to volunteer mentoring which we think is essential for new and growing businesses. We are confident that FPB members will jump at the chance to get involved, not only to support the next generation of entrepreneurs, but to develop their own business skills and experience.”

Notes to editors:

1. The online training is available now at www.getmentoring.org.

2. The Introduction to Enterprise Mentoring course is designed to enable business people interested in volunteer business mentoring to gain an understanding of the skills required. It helps individuals reflect on their current skills, experience and knowledge and apply this to the help and support they give others as they start and grow their businesses. The course does not provide a qualification in mentoring or coaching but the content has been mapped against the Level 3 Award in Enterprise Mentoring and provides a pathway for more formal qualifications in mentoring.

3. Get Mentoring is a public/private-sector partnership, grant assisted by BIS and GEO and led by SFEDI (The Small Firms Development Initiative Limited). SFEDI is the UK expert and Standards Setting Body for business enterprise and enterprise support. http://www.sfedi.co.uk.

4. Trained mentors are deployed through www.mentorsme.co.uk, the UK’s national gateway for businesses looking for mentoring services.

5. More case studies are available on the get mentoring website, www.getmentoring.org/category/case-study.

6. More information on the Business in You campaign is available at www.businessinyou.bis.gov.uk.

7. BIS's online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See http://www.bis.gov.uk/newsroom for more information.

Contacts:

BIS Press Office
NDS.BIS@coi.gsi.gov.uk

Dan Palmer
Phone: 020 7215 5303
dan.palmer@bis.gsi.gov.uk

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