Manchester Business Mentor Scheme Gets National Expansion

Businesses across Greater Manchester are invited to join a new mentoring scheme that pairs up senior figures from some of the largest businesses across the UK with ambitious SME’s.

Following on from a successful pilot in Greater Manchester and Greater Birmingham, Mentoring for Growth will now be expanding nationally and inviting new Manchester businesses to join the scheme.

Some of the leading companies who have already signed up include Amazon, BAE Systems, BT, Cisco, John Lewis Partnership, KPMG, Siemens UK and Sharing in Growth.

Combined, all of these organisations have provided 130 high calibre mentors who can provide SME’s with invaluable information and advice from some of the UK’s most successful businesses.

The mentees will benefit from the expert’s advice and support over the twelve-month period so they’re able to improve the productivity at their business. whereas the mentors will provide these small businesses with practical advice to help them overcome any potential barrier to encourage growth.

The Mentoring for Growth programme, led by GC Business Growth Hub has great knowledge as well as a rigorous process to ensure that SME’s are provided with the best-matched mentor.

Richard Jeffery, the Director of GC Business Growth Hub said:

“Mentoring is a very effective way to drive business growth and yet, as Be the Business’ research shows, many SMEs in the region have not benefited from this form of support.

“Of those that have, it’s clear the process can have a positive, transformational impact on the way they do business. I’m also proud that the Hub’s role in this programme at the pilot stage has helped lead to it to being rolled out nationally.”

Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of Be the Business commented:

“Mentoring is a proven way to help ambitious leaders become even more successful, and with Mentoring for Growth, some of the UK’s leading businesses are lending their experience. The feedback from our pilots in Greater Manchester and the West Midlands has been fantastic, so I am delighted that many more SMEs will be able to benefit from being mentored.”

Business Secretary, Greg Clark said:

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy which is why our modern Industrial Strategy is building the environment that ensures they continue to thrive.

“Mentoring for Growth delivered fantastic results during its pilot phase and is a great example of what can be achieved when large businesses share their insight with our small businesses to improve their productivity and help them grow.”

One of the pilots for the Mentoring for Growth programme was Rick Leach, a company owner of Oldham-based business Precision Pallets who was matched with mentor Donna Blinco, an experienced businesswoman who currently leads the lean, improvement, engagement and communications team at GlaxoSmithKline in Cumbria.

Rick said:

“Mentoring wasn’t something I’d ever thought about before, but taking part in the pilot proved to be a great introduction and Donna and I hit it off immediately.

“Initially we focused on manufacturing, productivity and workflow. I wasn’t really sure where to start, but Donna helped to change this. We also started thinking about areas like waste and management of staff. This directly led to some important re-organisation in the business, and crucially I’ve started delegating more too.

“I’m still working with Donna and we regularly talk on the phone, particularly around long-term planning for the business. The way I work has certainly become more structured and I’m also looking at working with other mentors, as well as encouraging some of my senior staff to also take part, too.”

November 1, 2018

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