Enterprise mentoring events to boost support for UK firms
Business leaders from across the UK are being invited to share their experiences and knowledge at a series of enterprise mentoring events organised by Lloyds Banking Group and the Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative, aimed at increasing the support available to SMEs.
The free events, entitled Meet A Mentor, aim to connect new and existing business owners and experienced enterprise mentors, giving them an opportunity to learn from one another and make connections with the wider business and professional services community in their area.
Sponsored by the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs 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 confirmed for 2014 include London, 18 February; Newcastle upon Tyne, 13 March; and Birmingham, 18 March. Each 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 events form part of Lloyds Banking Group’s SME Charter pledge to support UK businesses, to expand its network of mentors by recruitment and training, so that they have at least 400 volunteer enterprise mentors to support new and established SMEs. They also underline the bank’s pledge to support The Business Exchange, an initiative launched on 27 January by the government in collaboration with Enterprise Nation and 23 other businesses.
Jackie Jenks, senior manager of enterprise mentoring at Lloyds Banking Group, 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 Banking Group, 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.”
SFEDI executive chair Ruth Lowbridge, who will be attending each event, added: “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.
“Given the many challenges associated with running a business, it’s 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.”