Get Mentoring

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    Who is eligible for the training available through the Get Mentoring scheme?

    In order to access free business mentor training you must fall into at least ONE of the following three categories:
    - I am running or have run my own business with 250 employees or less, OR
    - I am a business support professional, working in a business setting, providing support to prospective and/or existing enterprise owners and entrepreneurs, OR
    - I am employed and work for a company employing less than 250 people.

    You must also be able to answer yes to the following list of eligibility criteria:
    - I am not currently providing mentoring support for the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) programme
    - I am not currently registered with a mentoring organisation featured on mentorsme.co.uk
    - I am willing to provide a minimum of 1 hour free business mentoring a month to a micro, small or medium sized business owner over the next two years (or equivalent).

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    How much is the Get Mentoring training?

    The course is fully funded and therefore is completely free to eligible learners. Those that complete the course also gain free membership of the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship.

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    What is included in the training?

    The workshops are designed to help business people 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. You may also be able to benefit your own business from the training. Topic areas include mentoring background, the skills and tools required by mentors, legal and ethical requirements, demands facing the entrepreneur, business finance and marketing, sales and customers.

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    What level is the training at and is it accredited?

    The learner receives a SFEDI Certificate of Recognition. This can be used to cover part of the requirements for the Level 3 Introduction to Enterprise Mentoring Award which is accredited. For further details please contact SFEDI Awards.

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    Who provides the training?

    The training is delivered by any of the Get Mentoring delivery partners based across the UK.

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    What is the ongoing commitment required of trained mentors?

    Trained mentors must be willing to provide at least one hour a month of free mentoring for two years.

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    Why should I volunteer my services as a mentor?

    Mentoring is primarily a way for business owners and entrepreneurs to give back to the enterprise community but a true mentoring relationship works in both directions, therefore as a volunteer mentor you can also learn new ideas to enhance your own enterprise know-how. We want to encourage more experienced business people to sign up to mentor new and growing businesses.

    Your business knowledge puts you in a prime position to support the next generation of businesses and play a crucial role in helping UK companies grow, which will in turn boost the chances of economic recovery. In addition, you will gain a wider understanding of the issues and challenges facing small businesses, which will enhance your own working life and outlook.

    Supporting small and new businesses in your local community creates a more dynamic area, more jobs and therefore a more attractive place to do business.

    Supporting small and new businesses within your own supply chain can only improve your own situation– a leaner and more efficient system, stronger supply chain means a better service and better products for your business.

    Finally, as well as joining a wider mentoring community and having your contribution recognised, you can work towards a recognised qualification.

    Benefits for the mentor include:

    • Personal fulfilment from investing in others
    • Communication, mentoring and coaching skills
    • Enjoyment from seeing others succeed
    • Feels ‘valued’ as a role model
    • Stimulates own learning of business enterprise
    • Opportunity to take time out and reflect
    • Renewed focus on future career or opportunities
    • Develops new insight into own self
    • Gains an appreciation of an entrepreneurs pressures
    • Improves own development and performance
    • Contributes to professional development
    • Improves relationship and management skills

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    Which organisations are involved in Get Mentoring?

    Get Mentoring is a public/private partnership grant assisted by BIS and led by SFEDI. Get Mentoring is the result of a landmark agreement by the UK's leading business representative organisations and trade associations for the shared aim of improving access to support for those starting or growing their own business. These organisations all believe that the best people to help micro, small and medium-sized businesses are other businesses. To find out more about our partner support read the partner quotes.

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    What is the Get Mentoring pledge?

    The ‘Get Mentoring’ pledge is a landmark agreement made by business representative bodies and trade associations to work together to recruit and train mentors within the small, medium and micro business community. Those signed up to are strategic partners of Get Mentoring.

    By making this commitment the strategic partners are aiming to make a significant contribution to the UK's drive for economic growth by helping to boost capability and capacity in the UK’s small, medium and micro businesses.

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    Would expenses/costs incurred through mentoring (travel for meetings etc) be recoverable?

    This would depend on the policy of the mentoring organisation with which you mentor. The Get Mentoring initiative provides free training to prospective mentors. Upon successful completion of the free mentoring training we recommend a number of routes to mentoring, including registering with a mentoring organisation on Mentorsme.co.uk. Each mentoring organisation has their own policy regarding expenses depending on the nature of their funding. Please contact individual mentoring organisations to learn more.

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    I am looking for a mentor to help me start or grow my business. Where can I find one?

    Research has shown that 70% of small businesses that receive mentoring survive for five years or more, which is double the rate compared with non-mentored entrepreneurs. In addition to this 20% of mentored businesses are more likely to experience growth. To source a business mentor visit www.mentorsme.co.uk. Mentorsme.co.uk will put you in touch with mentoring organisations across the UK who can help you find the kind of mentor that suits you, including those offering specialist financial support. Plus there’s lots of advice on what to look for in a mentor.

    To find a mentor, all you need to do is:

    • log on to www.mentorsme.co.uk;
    • look at the pages setting out what mentoring is and how the site works, as well as the profiles of participating mentoring organisations;
    • enter your criteria into the search facility to identify the most suitable mentoring organisations for your needs;
    • read the summary information about the organisations listed and decide who you want to contact.

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    I'm already trained as a mentor. Where can I volunteer?

    If you believe you already have the necessary expertise to offer mentoring to small businesses you can:

    • log on to www.mentorsme.co.uk;
    • look at the pages setting out what mentoring is and how the site works, as well as the profiles of participating mentoring organisations;
    • enter your key attributes into the search facility to identify the most suitable mentoring organisations for you to work with;
    • read the summary information about the organisations listed, which includes details of their standards;
    • Use the contact information given to get in touch with any organisations you are interested in to find out whether you can work with them.

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    What are the benefits of mentoring for the UK economy?

    Research has shown that 70% of small businesses that receive mentoring survive for five years or more, which is double the rate compared with non-mentored entrepreneurs. In addition to this 20% of mentored businesses are more likely to experience growth. Consequently, experienced mentors will boost capability and capacity in the UK’s small, medium and micro businesses, but also radically increase their survival rate.

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    Are there any payments to mentors for their time?

    The Get Mentoring initiative is about providing training to prospective mentors. In return, we ask that mentors volunteer at least an hour a month of free mentoring for two years. Under the initiative there are no payments to mentors. However, following the voluntary mentoring we do not prohibit mentors from then charging for their time or working with a mentoring organisation through which fees are payable.

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    What evidence is there that mentoring will support growth?

    Businesses tell us that they prefer to receive advice and support from other experienced business people. This is consistent with our market failure analysis that shows that smaller businesses find it hard to find impartial advice that they can trust.

    Mentoring can be an effective way of promoting more successful start-ups, as well as higher productivity and growth amongst established businesses.

    Micro, small and medium-sized business employers who sought external advice or information in the last 12 months were more likely to be aiming to grow their business over the next 2-3 years (80%), than those who had not sought advice (67%) (Small Business Survey 2010). They were also:

    • more likely to have grown their workforce in the past year (21%, compared to 14% of employers who had not sought advice)
    • more likely to be expecting to grow their employment in the next year (29%, compared to 17%)
    • more likely to have increased their turnover in the past year (32%, compared to 24%)
    • 30% more likely to be expecting to increase their turnover in the next year (47%, compared to 36%).

    Evaluation of mentoring pilots shows that mentoring can have significant impacts including :
    • Positive improvements in soft skills such as business confidence and aspiration which can lead to improved business performance, including increased sales, employees, turnover and profit
    • Professional development of both parties, enhancing leadership and management skills and abilities of both mentor and mentee
    • Evaluations of the Mentoring for Escalator and Mentoring for All Programmes in the East Midlands estimated that the programmes generated a net impact of over £21,000 for each business assisted.

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    What is the role of a Mentor?

    The role of a mentor is to apply the knowledge and experience they have gained to the mentoring support they give their mentees. Mentorsme.co.uk outlines that the role of the mentor is:
    • To encourage their mentee to express and discuss their ideas, concerns and understanding of the business situation facing them
    • To help mentees to review their progress and set realistic and practical options to realise their goals
    • To help mentees to reflect on and learn from things that did not turn out as expected
    • To refer mentees to other sources of information, advice or further support when appropriate
    • To encourage mentees to take responsibility for their own decisions, plans and actions

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    How will a mentee find a mentor?

    Mentees can find a mentor via mentorsme.co.uk, Britain's first online gateway for small and medium-sized enterprises looking for mentoring services. We recommend that all mentors that go through the Get Mentoring programme register with mentoring organisations found on mentorsme.co.uk.

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    What is the effect of mentoring among small business entrepreneurs?

    Research has indicated many benefits from mentoring among small businesses, for both mentors and mentees. These benefits can differ depending on the age of the business but include increased productivity, increased turnover and increased likelihood of success.

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    What happens after I complete the Get Mentoring training?

    Once you have successfully completed our training and have an understanding of the role of the mentor you're ready to begin mentoring. This can be done in a number of ways:

    Your free membership of the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs (IOEE) will be activated. The IOEE provides an online, member-to-member mentor introduction service. You will receive your login details for the IOEE community in a separate email. Your membership includes 'mentor status', and you are able to use the post-nominal letters MIOEE. We recommend that you login and complete your profile which will appear in their mentor directory.

    The IOEE also operates a 'Mentee Directory' allowing you to search for suitable mentees to support. We issue a regular bulletin to all of our trained mentors providing details of areas in which mentoring support is required ensuring you're connected to the national network.

    For more formal mentoring opportunities, the national portal for mentoring organisations Mentorsme provides access to regional and national mentoring organisations. Get Mentoring has contacted all of the Mentoring Organisations on Mentorsme and developed a list of those that have expressed an interest in sourcing new mentors that have completed the training. Click here to view

    All NEA Providers are offering mentoring support via the New Enterprise Allowance Initiative. We have collated a list of those that have indicated to Get Mentoring that they would be keen to hear from the mentors that have completed the Get Mentoring training. If you are interested in finding out how you can support this scheme click here to view the list of organisations

    You may already be working with and supporting someone in an informal way. Your new skills should enable you to increase or improve your mentoring activities.

    If you're well connected in your local region and sector you can cultivate a mentoring relationships with those you already know or meet at local networking events. There may also be business clubs and networks in your region that help build mentoring relationships between their members.

    There are a number of online avenues for mentoring, including promoting your mentoring skills through your LinkedIn profile, adding it to your Twitter description or including it in your email sign off. (Remember that you can add the MIoEE letters after your name to indicate your 'mentor status' with the IOEE).

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    Does mentoring support for SMEs include how to find and win public sector contracts?

    The Get Mentoring initiative is about providing free mentor training to prospective mentors ensuring that they understand the skills and knowledge required to be an effective mentor. Following successful completion of the training there are a number of routes to deployment, including signing up with a suitable mentoring organisation via Mentorsme.co.uk. Each mentoring organisation has its own approach which may include sector-specific support. To find this out you would need to contact the mentoring organisation directly.

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    Can I provide mentoring online as I cannot meet mentees physically due to business travel?

    Absolutely. A number of mentoring organisations provide the facility to carry out mentoring virtually by way of an online system. We are keen to support all forms of mentoring.

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    How long does the training take?

    The length of time taken to carry out the training differs depending on the mode of delivery (i.e. workshop, distance or online) but it averages from half to a full day.