Mentoring – what to expect

As Britain’s first specialist online mentoring portal, offers free access to a comprehensive list of quality business mentoring organisations across Britain. It is operated by the Better Business Finance programme, set up by five high street banks: Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland and Santander. The initiative is overseen by the BBA.

Any UK business can use, but start-ups, entrepreneurs and businesses tackling new challenges tend to find the scheme most benefitial. An easy-to-use search engine allows you to refine your search according to what stage your business is at and where it is located.

Business mentors will normally offer wide-ranging business experience or expertise in a particular area, such as finance, marketing or exports. They will act as your trusted confidant over a flexible period of time, although you should be clear on what you can and cannot expect from them.

Your mentor will:

  • Provide an outside perspective on both you and your business
  • Listen in confidence to the matters that worry you
  • Share their own experience of both failure and success
  • Offer friendly, unbiased support and encouragement
  • Provide honest and constructive feedback
  • Provide a sounding board for your business ideas
  • Help you with decision-making by suggesting alternatives
  • Give you access to contacts and networks that might be able to help your business development

Your mentor will not:

  • Provide a counselling service
  • Invest in your business
  • Give specific technical business advice, which would normally be provided by an expert business adviser
  • Offer any training or coaching
  • Take credit for the success of your business away from you

How can a mentor help?

Britain’s largest banks have joined forces to support a network of business mentors across is the UK’s first specialist online portal for businesses looking for mentoring services.

What are the benefits?

Independent business experts can play an invaluable role in any business. They draw upon their personal experience and networks to offer advice, act as sounding boards and open up new sources of contacts and people who can help a business.

Who are the business mentors?

Mentors are made up of current and retired bank employees working voluntarily through independent, established, non-profit mentoring organisations. The majority have worked – or have worked as – relationship managers. However, staff from across the banking industry have been recruited to ensure you have access to a wide range of specialist skills, such as marketing and human resources.

Are bank mentors properly qualified?

All business mentors complete a training programme run by the independent UK Skills Sector Body for Enterprise and Business Support (SFEDI). Their extensive training covers communication, legislation, health and safety issues, funding and accounts, market research, customer service and marketing.

Become a mentor

If you would like to become a mentor or even set-up your own mentoring organisation, you can find a comprehensive guide on where to start here on the Mentorsme website.

Successful mentoring stories

There are around 27,000 mentors available through the Mentorsme initiative and lots of businesses have had successful mentoring experiences. You can read some of their stories here.

Mentoring organisations

There are over 200 organisations taking part in the Mentorsme initiative, offering free mentoring to all types of businesses up and down the country. Use the ‘find a mentor’ tool on the Mentorsme website to find an organisation to suit your business.

Mentoring events

Mentoring organisations often host events which provide opportunities for both mentors and mentees across the country. Events are regularly added to the Mentorsme website.

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