By Daniel Hunter
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.
“This training tool is vital to help build our growing network of trained mentors," Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk said.
"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.
“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," he said.
"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.
“We believe there is a rich supply of would-be mentors working in businesses across the country, willing to share their years of experience," Phil Orford, Chief Executive, Forum of Private Business said.
"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.”
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