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Photo (from left to right): Ruth Lowbridge (SFEDI), Irene Graham (BBA/Mentorsme), Julie Hall (Women Unlimited) and Maria Miller MP. Maria Miller MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and Minister for Women and Equalities kicked off International Women’s Day by attending a Meet A Mentor breakfast at the THRIVE! conference, hosted by Women Unlimited. The breakfast event brought together mentors that have completed the Government funded mentor training with female entrepreneurs looking for mentors. This activity forms part of a series of Government funded activities designed to raise awareness of the benefits of mentoring amongst female led businesses. …

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As part of Get Mentoring, we have been undertaking research into the process and practice of enterprise mentoring. Running over the last nine months, a set of interesting headlines and highlights have emerged from the consultations with mentors, project partners and other mentoring stakeholders. These headlines include: There is no one type of enterprise mentor and enterprise mentoring experience. There is great diversity amongst the population of Get Mentoring trained mentors, ranging from self-employed individuals offering a mentoring service to the Managing Directors of manufacturing businesses with 100 employees There is a range of mentoring experiences from the highly informal, …

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With 20 years of experience in the beauty therapy industry, Lorraine Hart from Dorking in Surrey understands the pressures of being a business owner. Completing the Introduction to Enterprise Mentoring training in London has made her feel more at home in the role of "mentor", and she is already helping business owners to achieve results. With the help of Lorraine, business owner and holistic health practitioner Susan Richardson has developed a marketing strategy, developed her online presence, begun to run workshops and build her self-confidence. Susan says, “From the outset my ambition was to establish Self Awareness Workshops within my …

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Elspeth Thorburn from East Dunbartonshire delivers health and wellbeing programmes to clients, including yoga and empowerment programmes within educational facilities in Scotland. She is also a distributor of Forever Living products as part as her work in the health and nutrition industry. Originally encouraged to mentor by friends and acquaintances who found her informal business support to be invaluable, Elspeth has not only taken to volunteer business mentoring through the government backed Get Mentoring training, she’s also now taken up mentoring on a professional basis. She says, “I’ve been mentoring people on a voluntary basis for some time now – …

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Through his business E-Dis, Chibuike Maduforo plans to develop a dedicated online platform for the disability community, which he believes will act as a ‘gateway’ to a world of opportunities. Part social network, part “D-commerce” site, part online resource, Chibuike has his work cut out trying to make his vision a reality. But he believes passionately in providing disabled people with the same opportunities as the able bodied, and he certainly hasn’t let his own visual disability, a condition known as nystagmus to hold him back. As one of the members of the Intuit 100Up scheme – which supports inspiring …

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Carole Watson from South Norwood owns and runs Squire and Watson , a company marketing used office equipment online. She trained as a volunteer enterprise mentor in London so that she could help others by offering business owners a “different perspective”. Carole’s experience has taught her that many companies are hindered by “road blocks” as she calls them – issues that can be handled relatively easily once the entrepreneur is encouraged to think differently. Carole’s first taste of mentoring came through an unlikely source: when her local tennis club was faced with bankruptcy. As an unofficial mentor on the board …

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Until a few years ago, Bob Browning ran an Internet Development Company based in London. A true entrepreneur, he spotted the potential in the Internet from the very beginning, setting up his business in 1995 before selling it on to a larger organisation several years later. Bob is also the founder of www.bobsguide.com, the leading website covering banking technology, which was sold to the Association of Financial Professionals in 2008. When he came across the Get Mentoring training, he identified it as an opportunity to keep his hand in with the business world and use the opportunity to give something …

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Although he is a relatively new business owner himself, having only set up his own business Luckywebs in 2012, Rafi Akbar nevertheless has plenty of experience to share, having worked across many different industries over the course of his career. He says, “I’ve worked in call centres, done door-to-door selling, email branding, affiliate marketing, web analytics and social media enterprises. And in many of these businesses I’ve found myself benefitting from mentoring. One person who stands out in particular is a more senior member of staff I worked with at a marketing agency. We’d sit down and have a chat …

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Thanks to the High Five campaign backed by Lloyds Banking Group, volunteers from across the country have each earned Young Enterprise a £5 donation by completing Get Mentoring’s online training. Now, Lloyds has committed to extending the scheme beyond November to reach a target of 2,000 online-trained mentors through this campaign – for which they will donate a massive £10,000. If you haven’t yet completed Get Mentoring’s fully-funded online training, there’s still time to earn Young Enterprise a £5 donation courtesy of Lloyds Banking Group, by signing up and completing the course here So far the High Five campaign has …

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With the fully funded Get Mentoring training coming to a close at the end of the year there are now just a matter of weeks to get yourself enrolled on a workshop or complete the free online training. Find out how to get involved with the initiative here. Over the past 12 months thousands of experienced business men and women from across the UK have been trained as volunteer enterprise mentors through the initiative. At the half-day Introduction to Enterprise Mentoring sessions, mentors have been encouraged to: Reflect on their own skills and knowledge Learn how to apply skills to …

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In November, Lloyds Banking Group pledged to donate to Young Enterprise £5 for every volunteer who signs up for free mentor training with the Government-funded scheme, Get Mentoring. Lloyds Banking Group has taken a lead role in the Business Finance Taskforce mentoring initiative and actively promotes the benefit of mentoring for new and growing businesses. The bank is keen to encourage businesses from across the UK to engage in mentoring. Mentoring manager, Jackie Jenks explains why. My role as mentoring manager at Lloyds Banking Group has meant I have been lucky enough to see first-hand the benefits mentoring can have …

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Mentoring Monthly caught up with Ashley Whittley (pictured), development manager of UnLtd in Northern Ireland, to ask her how working with Get Mentoring has helped them provide support for social entrepreneurs. Find out more here. In October, the UK’s leading provider of support for social entrepreneurship, UnLtd, welcomed entrepreneurs into its Belfast office as it hosted one of the many Introduction to Enterprise Mentoring workshops held across the UK. The company invests in hundreds of individuals every year by providing advice, mentoring, networking and funding ‘Awards’ to enable the growth of social enterprise. We asked development manager Ashley Whittley, who …

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This month The Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise (PRIME) held The Senior Enterprise and Mentoring Conference at the BT Centre in London this month. Ruth Lowbridge (pictured), the Executive Chair of SFEDI, which leads the Get Mentoring scheme, spoke at the conference where it was heard that more mentors are needed to support over 50s entrepreneurs get back to work. The conference which was hosted by The Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, brought together thought leaders, entrepreneurs, policymakers and NGOs from the UK and the European Union to discuss the issues for the unemployed …

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Janet Bebb of Social Progress in Huddersfield, Kate Hardcastle of Insight With Passion also in Huddersfield, Claire Mitchell of Chillipeeps in Ripon and Louise Turner of Your Virtual PR in Wakefield are the only four Yorkshire business women named in the MumsClub Top 100 Business Mums. Now they have joined forces to offer a package of volunteer mentoring to support a future female entrepreneur. Having been introduced to each other because of the award, the women decided to pool their skills and help future business women by offering to mentor one lucky winner or team of winners. Today the women …

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Chris Kenna completed the online training for the Introduction to Enterprise Mentoring course because he wanted to help new businesses avoid the headaches he encountered starting up SDMC Productions in 2010. A driven and ambitious businessman, Chris made the unusual transition from soldier to actor/model to managing director in the space of just a few short years. On his own experience of running a company, Chris says, “It was hard. In the Army I’d been used to having my wages paid, a roof over my head, meals taken care of and all those other things that suddenly you can’t take …

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High-end wedding and events co-ordinator Seyi Olusanya started her business after being asked for advice from friends and families to plan occasions. Now she’d like to use her knowledge and experience to help new businesses find their feet. Find out why she thinks that mentoring comes naturally to Mumpreneurs like herself. Like many of the mentors who have enrolled on the Introduction to Enterprise Mentoring course, Seyi Olusanya found that her success in business led to more and more people asking her for advice and guidance. In fact, the success of Seyi’s wedding and events business, Cedar Events, has encouraged …

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Kate Saunders from Newbury in West Berkshire has seen her business, Blackberry Cottage, go from strength to strength since it was formed in 2011. Delivering “cakes with secret ingredients”, the business offers children and adults the chance to enjoy sweet treats that also contribute to their 5-a-day. Although she has been in business with Blackberry Cottage for less than two years, Kate is no stranger to running her own enterprises, having left employment to retrain as a sports massage practitioner and set up her own Sports Injury Clinic in 2000. Asked about her eventful career background, Kate says, “The day …

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Over the past 12 months thousands of business men and women from across the UK have been trained as volunteer enterprise mentors through the initiative. At the half-day Introduction to Enterprise Mentoring sessions, mentors have been encouraged to: - Reflect on their own skills and knowledge - Learn how to apply skills to the mentoring role - Identify strengths and areas that could be improved by the mentor - Reflect on experiences as an entrepreneur - Identify how mentees could benefit from this experience Packed full of information, practical activities and a handy workbook that can be referred back to …

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Kerri Lister from Addlestone in Surrey warns that, from the outside, a parent running a flexible online company can seem like they are just “playing” at business. But she says that the reality involves a lot of hard graft and a commitment to working anti-social hours: sending emails at midnight, updating websites during mealtimes and tweeting at the school gates before the kids come out. With two successful businesses on the go in BuyStudentArt.co.uk and Mama To Me, and two young children to look after, Kerri says that her chosen career provides a unique set of circumstances that only other …

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For those who wish to take their mentoring to the next level, the Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative (SFEDI) Group which leads the Get Mentoring scheme offers qualifications to follow on from the half-day introductory course. Nic Preston is the chief executive of SFEDI Awards, the arm of the group dedicated to providing education and training qualifications for all aspects of enterprise learning. He says, “Newly-trained mentors may want to complete an Award in Enterprise Mentoring for a variety of reasons. It may be that they want to reinforce the skills that they’ve learnt previously; they could find that adding …

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Since its founding over 250 years ago the RSA has been committed to supporting new ideas which offer innovative and practical solutions to society’s most pressing challenges. All of our work is made possible by the support of our network of 27,000 Fellows, who increasingly are developing their own ideas to respond to the challenges of the 21st Century. Kitting out empty shops as art venues, turning second hand clothes into new recycled products, or converting excess food into meals for low income families - these are just some of the 100s of Fellow-led projects which we have supported. The …

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Lloyds Banking Group has partnered with Get Mentoring to help support thousands of new and growing enterprises across the UK. Through the partnership, Britain’s largest enterprise charity, Young Enterprise, will receive a £5 donation for every aspiring business mentor that completes fully funded mentor training with the Get Mentoring initiative in November. Lloyds Banking Group and SFEDI, launched the ‘High Five’ campaign at the 16th Annual Ethnic Minority Business Conference last Friday with the aim of recruiting and training thousands of mentors from small, medium and micro businesses throughout November and raising £10,000 for Young Enterprise. The importance of business …

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If you’ve completed the Get Mentoring training and not yet registered as a member of the IOEE, take a look at just a few of the reasons why you might want to consider joining for FREE here. The Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs, or IOEE, is aimed at anyone thinking about, starting or running their own business as well as those who support them. Mentors who have completed the Introduction to Enterprise Mentoring training are entitled to FREE membership with IOEE mentor status. Here’s just 5 of the reasons mentors should join: 1. It’s a great way to meet a …

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Jordana Stevens is one of the Get Mentoring trainers tasked with introducing budding mentors to enterprise mentoring. Jo spent 10 years working as a trainer with financial institutions but now she runs courses for pretty much every sector. As part of devising and delivering courses for a host of different companies such as Airbus, Tetrapak, Brother Industries, Wockardt and Teva, she’s worked with thousands of successful and highly qualified business people. We caught up with Jo to talk about all things mentoring, mentees in gorilla suits and Brad Pitt. Jo, could you tell us a little bit about the format …

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Lee Armstrong has spent the last 18 months setting up Aquarius Spa, which now has two outlets in Richmond and Hampstead offering beauty and medi spa treatments. Having been through the pain barrier of setting up from idea to growth, Lee is now keen to share his experiences with others by making himself available as a mentor. Lee found out about Get Mentoring from the Richmond Chamber of Commerce as The Chamber is in the process of starting a mentoring scheme amongst its members. He says, "I wanted to volunteer as a mentor because the last 18 months of owning …

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Alex Dodgshon from Northwich in Cheshire first became aware of Get Mentoring through two networking groups she was involved with, the Forward Ladies Group and the Forum of Private Business (FPB). Alex was conscious of the role that mentors could play in supporting small businesses, but she says, “I began to take more notice when I heard about it through organisations like the FPB as it has a focus on providing practical support to its members and encouraging members to learn through shared experiences too. "I thought that Get Mentoring seemed like a really good way for businesses to support …

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Through New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) Schemes mentors can play an important role in getting the long-term unemployed get back into work in the UK. We spoke to Melissa Healy from the West Yorkshire Enterprise Agency to find out more about how NEA schemes work and what mentors are getting out of the experience. A growing number of newly-qualified mentors are choosing to volunteer with New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) Providers which support the long-term unemployed in getting back to work through self employment. As Melissa Healy from one such provider in West Yorkshire tells us, mentors play a key role in …

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Elaine Murray from Aberdeenshire runs a successful interior design, painting and decorating company, The Shadecard. She came across the Get Mentoring scheme through links with Mumpreneur and Moray Business Women. We talked to Elaine about the importance of supporting new and growing businesses, being a ‘mumpreneur’ and how she would like to develop her mentoring skills in the future. Elaine Murray owns a successful interior design, painting and decorating company with her husband Andy. But she didn’t want becoming her own boss to stop her from passing on the benefit of her knowledge in the way that she was able …

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The Get Mentoring course provided the perfect introduction to the role of a mentor for Sheryl Miller from Birmingham. We caught up with Sheryl to find out how she's been applying her new found mentoring skills and how it's going with her first mentee. As a qualified accountant with a strong corporate background, Sheryl says that she has found herself informally mentoring on a number of occasions in the past. With this in mind, along with an ambition to inspire women and young people to reach their potential, Sheryl attended the Get Mentoring course in Birmingham earlier this year. Following …

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Entrepreneur and director of Russia Local, Ignaty Dyakov wasted little time in meeting his first mentee after completing the Get Mentoring training. Find out how he’s found the experience and what they are hoping to achieve together here. At just 28, Ignaty Dyakov has already co-founded several businesses in both Russia and the UK. He is currently the director of Russia Local, a London-based company providing a spectrum of language-based services for businesses expanding in Russia. Despite a hectic work schedule Ignaty jumped at the opportunity to join Get Mentoring when he came across the scheme whilst attending the Business …

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For those who'd like to see what's involved in the online training and how it works we've put together a short overview video demonstrating the process. Click the image below to launch the screencast (opens in a new window). Ready to Get Mentoring? Click here to register and start your online Get Mentoring Training.

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Jess Bailey and Sally Brown were first introduced through a contact Jess met during her mentor training, and after exchanging a few emails they decided to meet and see what working together could do for them. Find out what led them to the Get Mentoring scheme and how they see the initiative helping start-ups and growing enterprises. Jess Bailey, 38, describes herself as a serial entrepreneur who can't help but have a few enterprises on the go. Alongside her work as a transport planning consultant she’s run businesses ranging from a picture framing company to an online cook and bake-ware …

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Opus Accounting is an accountancy practice that likes to stand out from the crowd. From social media, to community support to online competitions, the company is always finding new and interesting ways to reach new audiences. Director, Nigel Coombs FCCA, describes their approach: "We like to think of ourselves as 'refreshingly different'. We believe it's the added value that each individual and the company as a whole brings that makes us stand out from the competition". It's this approach that led Nigel, and the other two directors of the company, to sign up for the free mentor training. Nigel says, …

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Mentoring has played a significant role in the career of Neville Sankey, both as an informal mentor and a mentee. Having worked in the Home Secretary’s office; as a writer, editor and journalist; and in the world of advertising, marketing and publicity, Neville is now Business Development Director at Accountagility, a software and solutions company based in the City of London. Neville was introduced to the Get Mentoring scheme through the Institute of Directors – where he is a fellow – and decided that the opportunity to attend the half-day Introduction to Enterprise Mentoring course was one he didn’t want …

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People from across the UK at many different stages of their working life are completing the free mentor training from Get Mentoring. Here's just five reasons you might want to get involved and Get Mentoring: It's great PR - communicate to your potential clients and others that you're also willing to support the wider business community through mentoring and they'll know your business is the caring, sharing type (which you will be!) You'll learn as much as the people you mentor - although you've 'been there and got the tee-shirt' finding out about the issues facing a new or growing …

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As any good mentor will know, networking can be integral to the success and sustained growth of a business. According to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), “Networking can carry many benefits, including improving market knowledge, access to new customers, improved supplier relationships, mentoring opportunities and access to those in your industry or sector who can provide information and guidance.” London-based gift design company Spinning Hat is just one enterprise that found networking to play a significant role in its growth. Spinning Hat began with just two people and one product in 2005 but has since grown into …

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The Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs (IOEE) has given its website a new look to make it as easy as possible for members to access its Mentor Directory. The IOEE is an online learning institute for anyone thinking about, starting or running their own business and those that support them. Free membership is available to everyone that completes the Get Mentoring training. Its new features make it easier for mentors and mentees to connect and share experiences and knowledge in other ways. The Get Together facility helps groups arrange face-to-face meetings and events to network. There’s even a group calendar …

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When Sue Hall came across the Get Mentoring scheme, she decided that it would be a good opportunity to raise her awareness of the mentoring role and complement the skills and experience she already had. As the owner of her own domestic cleaning introductory agency, Maid2Clean, in Suffolk, Sue felt she had something to offer new business owners. She also runs a women’s business network where she frequently finds herself asked for advice, guidance and support, and so the initiative felt like a logical step for her to take: “I guess I have been mentoring unofficially without realising it. I’ve …

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Mark Foster from Accrington in Lancashire isn’t new to mentoring, having provided support and advice to his sister-in-law’s boutique beauty salon over the past six years, but he does describe himself as an ‘aspiring mentor’. Mark says, “I get a kick out of using my experience, even if only in a small way, to help other people realise their potential. It is also an opportunity for me to learn through other people's experience.” Over the course of 30 years in business Mark has gone from being an electrician’s apprentice to the chief executive of a £25 million business employing over …

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Social media champion and business owner, Janet Bebb, signed up to be a mentor to explore how her social media expertise and business background could help support new enterprises in her area and raise the profile of her new business too. Her business, Her Company, Social Progress Ltd, specialises in helping SMEs and the self-employed use online social networks. Janet felt it would be great to combine her knowledge and experience by volunteering to mentor others, she says: “The course helped to reinforce my understanding about what mentoring is and is not and the subtle differences between coaching, mentoring, counselling …

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47-year-old Kemi Oyesola from South East London decided to change the direction of her career and achieve a new outlook on life after being separated from her husband in 2006. Her interests in youth and community work, and personal development training led her to set up her company How2Think, a Life/Executive Coaching and Personal Development Practice. Kemi teaches leadership skills to young people at an age they can benefit from it most. Kemi first came across Get Mentoring when she visited the Business 2012 fair held at the 02 arena, and she decided that the initiative was a great opportunity. …

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In this photo, left to right: Fabian Hamilton, Labour MP for Leeds North East, the IAB Honorary President, Ruth Lowbridge, Executive Chair of SFEDI, Laura Howard, IAB Mentor of the Year Award winner, and Janet Jack, the chair of the IAB Council. Earlier this month, Laura Howard, from Long Buckby, in Northamptonshire, won the International Association of Bookkeepers (IAB) "Small Business Mentor of the year 2012" Award at the IAB Awards Ceremony at the House of Commons. It was awarded to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution as a volunteer business mentor over the past year. Said Laura, …

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Paul Etheridge has been impressed by the calibre of mentors coming through the Get Mentoring scheme. The former business planner and management consultant who now runs GoldenTime Toys found a real benefit in being able to tailor the distance learning course to his needs. “Varied and enjoyable” are the words Paul Etheridge uses to describe his career to date. Paul now runs GoldenTime Toys – a company that markets and sells educational games and resources to help children learn through fun at home – but his route to running his own business has led him through many different roles. Since …

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After leaving her job as a chartered accountant to have children, Cyd Smith was tempted back into part-time employment by a former client. When that position came to an end Cyd was encouraged to start up her own business by a colleague, and she soon expanded her business CS Accounting through word of mouth. Twenty years later and still going strong, Cyd’s decision to go self-employed certainly seem to have been vindicated. Cyd has never been mentored herself but she believes that it can be a valuable asset for a new start-up. In her opinion the Get Mentoring scheme is …

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Colette Harrison came to the Get Mentoring scheme with a background in the volunteering sector. Her career has seen her work on projects with arts organisations, charities and higher education. As a consultant she has helped charities to develop more structured volunteer programmes as well as working with the likes of Durham University’s careers service. The 32 year old who lives in Durham says that, while she’s never received any formal mentoring, there have often been employers, colleagues and associates who have provided her with some of the support one would expect to get from a mentor: “In each professional …

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Sheryl Miller, 39, has had a successful and varied career in blue chip companies for over 20 years. Joining Ernst & Young as a school leaver, she worked her way up the ranks to senior management. She is now applying all of her business experience, along with her natural tendency to be the 'social secretary' wherever she works, to the growth of the networking venture where she is a co-founder, Stiletto SOS. Sheryl's experience in the corporate environment has given her a strong footing as a business mentor. Early on in her career she qualified as a Chartered Accountant and …

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If your mentee is under 24 and interested in improving their skills, some courses are offered for free because they are paid for by the Government. Your mentee can find the information they need through the National Careers Service website and telephone helpline. The National Careers Service offers independent, professional information, advice and guidance to help individuals identify and achieve career objectives and find out about training opportunities. Some of the services include: - Details of which sectors and industries are growing in their area. - Tools to help them identify skills strengths and gaps. - The opportunity to open …

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Public relations consultant Richard Simpson is a new mentor keen to work with young, growing businesses or established ones who are, in his words, “Stuck in a rut.” Having run his own company for nine years in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Richard, who is also a qualified clinical hypnotherapist and a non-executive director of an NHS foundation trust in Gateshead, sees real value in mentoring. He thinks that mentoring will become an increasingly important source of advice and support for business owners. Asked about his thoughts on the Get Mentoring scheme, Richard says, “I think it will have benefits for both …

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Kay Wallace has been in business since 1976 and now employs a workforce of 15 at Natural Bed Company, proudly manufacturing and retailing solid hardwood beds in Sheffield. For her, the best thing about enrolling on the Introduction to Enterprise Mentoring course was that it opened the door to being in a position to help other people. Despite her own success, Kay feels that she would have appreciated the guidance of a mentor earlier in her career: “So many small business owners work in isolation and it can be really beneficial to talk to others who have experienced a similar …

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10.30 am – 1.30 pm on 29 May at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, London. This is a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs who want to develop their understanding of the value of digital technology and make the most of the opportunities it presents. Penny Power, (author, mentor, coach) is an industry leader and recognised expert on the power of harnessing social media in business. Penny will be leading a seminar on the social digital landscape, what it is and how small business can develop a 'digital mindset', thus making greater connections, build networks and find new customers. In …

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