Mentoring for SMEs - Business Works
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Mentoring for SMEs

by Jackie Jenks, Senior Manager Enterprise Mentoring, Lloyds Bank Following her recent editorial about how mentoring helps entrepreneurs to succeed, Jackie Jenks reports on how business leaders from across the UK are to be brought together to share their experiences and knowledge at a series of enterprise mentoring events. The events will be organised by Lloyds Banking Group and the Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative (SFEDI) and aimed at increasing the support available to SMEs.

The free Meet A Mentor events aim to connect new and existing business owners and experienced enterprise mentors, providing them with an opportunity to learn from one another and make connections with the wider business and professional services community in their area.

Each event will provide attendees with access to a range of mentors who have volunteered to help business-owners deal with the day-to-day and longer-term challenges of running a business.

The enterprise mentoring events form part of Lloyds Banking Groupís SME Charter pledge to support UK businesses, to expand its network of mentors by recruitment and training, so that we have at least 400 volunteer enterprise mentors to support new and established SMEs. They also underline the bankís pledge to support The Business Exchange, an initiative launched on 27 January 2014 by the Government in collaboration with Enterprise Nation and 23 other businesses as part of the Governmentís commitment to small business.

Prime Minister, David Cameron, said, "As part of our long-term economic plan, we will keep doing everything we can to make Britain the best place to start, grow and do business. This is a Government on the side of business and enterprise which is backing our record number of start-ups and small businesses so that they can grow and create more jobs for hard-working people."

"The Business Exchange will strengthen the links between businesses big and small, opening up fresh opportunities and the exchange of new ideas, and helping us compete in the global race."

Jackie, Senior Manager Enterprise Mentoring at Lloyds said, "Mentoring is a useful way of providing entrepreneurs with access to support and information from skilled and experienced industry professionals, which is why we are working to make mentors more widely available."

"For smaller and newer companies, the chance to use another industry professional as a sounding-board for new ideas and strategies can be a huge benefit, as well as having an objective perspective."

"In addition to the wide range of experienced professionals who are trained as mentors at Lloyds, we also work with a number of organisations including the IOEE and SFEDI to help share our collective knowledge, expertise and contacts with business owners."

"These events are a great opportunity to bring together volunteer mentors, who are looking to share their experiences with owners of younger business looking for support to guide their growth, as well as giving something back to the business community," said Ruth Lowbridge, SFEDI Executive Chair.

"Given the many challenges associated with running a business, itís vitally important that volunteers are able to directly engage with business owners to find out what their concerns and needs are, in order to help drive the continued economic recovery across the UK."

Sponsored by the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs (IOEE) and Lloyds Banking Group, all attendees will also be given free affiliate membership to the IOEE.

Following on from a series of successful events in 2013, the first three events confirmed for 2014 include:
  • London on 18 February 2014
  • Newcastle upon Tyne on 13 March
  • Birmingham on 18 March
Interested attendees can register for the events at:

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