By Ben Simmons

Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk has announced key milestones in mentoring support for entrepreneurs as the first Global Entrepreneurship Congress to be held in Europe gets underway.

The week-long Congress in Liverpool will see a range of activities to champion the entrepreneurial spirit of business people in the UK and around the world. Today, Mark Prisk has announced that the Get Mentoring initiative to recruit 15,000 volunteer business mentors has now passed the halfway mark with more than 7,500 signed up.

Once trained, they will join 11,000 mentors already available through the mentorsme.co.uk portal launched last year. 4,000 of the Get Mentoring volunteers have already been trained meaning that there are now 15,000 mentors available through the portal.

“The Government is committed to making the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a business,” says Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk.

“We have already launched a new BusinessLink website to provide a single comprehensive place for people to get the information they need to start a business and will be providing coaching opportunities for high growth potential businesses.

“Creating a network of thousands of business mentors will give SMEs access to a wealth of knowledge from entrepreneurs who have been there and done it before. It’s encouraging that so many people are signing up to be business mentors and that we are continuing to get the support of influential entrepreneurs who are joining our campaign to boost business mentoring across the UK.”

In another step forward for the programme, prominent entrepreneurs Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, Mike Southon, Carl Hopkins and Penny Power will take on the voluntary roles as mentoring ambassadors, throwing their support behind plans to create a network of tens of thousands of business mentors and promote the Get Mentoring initiative and mentorsme portal.

Entrepreneur and founder of Ecademy, Penny Power adds:
“Mentoring has been a critical aspect of my personal journey, often informally provided in conversations with business friends, when I have talked through challenges, opportunities and how to achieve goals and execute my vision. I am delighted to be supporting the Mentorsme programe and look forward to encouraging many more people to ask for help and receive it from people who have been there and care about their success.”