Tuesday, July 5, 2011

News: Banks launch mentoring scheme


Five of the UK's largest high street banks have launched a mentoring scheme that will offer support on a range of issues faced by businesses, from finance to marketing to HR.

Start ups, established companies or those looking for a sounding board will receive support from networks of mentors, including current and retired bank staff that have volunteered and been trained as mentors.

Businesses will also be able to find assistance through a brand new online portal, www.mentorsme.co.uk. This brings together leading mentoring organisations and allows companies to search for and locate their local group. It also includes a section to recruit would be mentors and a range of helpful resources.

Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk said: "Small business owners have repeatedly told us that the support they value most comes from other experienced business people. For the first time in the UK, there will be a single, cohesive network of mentoring provision.

"Small firms are lifeblood of our economy and we are determined to give them every opportunity to succeed and secure the long-term growth we need."

Angela Knight, Chief Executive, British Bankers' Association added: "We recognise it is often a lonely place to be for a business when stepping out on their own for the first time or running their existing business day to day. That’s when a mentor can help.

"We have had a resounding response from current and former bank staff, with over 200 volunteers already on board to support British businesses. Whilst many of the staff we are placing are experienced in finance, we are also recruiting from across different departments, so that we add to the wealth of skills and knowledge available to organisations.

"We hope that through the launch of this new initiative and portal, the help businesses can receive through mentoring generally will be much easier to access and better supported."

All bank business mentors will be trained by the independent UK Skills Sector Body for Enterprise and Business Support, SFEDI.

A series of finance masterclasses are also being rolled out to train non-bank mentors within established mentoring organizations, giving them a broad base of knowledge on bank lending and alternative sources of finance.

Mentor SME website


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