There are two Business Mentoring Schemes open to businesses in the Scottish Borders – and you do NOT have to be a member of the Chamber to become involved. These schemes are as follows:
- Scottish Enterprise Business Mentoring Scheme
- The Scottish Borders Small & Micro Business Mentoring Network
These two schemes are explained below so you can decide which one suits your business better.
Scottish Enterprise Scheme
Business Mentoring is a Scottish Enterprise programme delivered by the Scottish Chambers of Commerce. To date, the Scottish Chambers of Commerce / Scottish Enterprise mentoring partnership has, over the years, delivered over 8,000 mentoring matches in total.
Criteria to be eligible for a business mentor through this fully funded programme:
- If you are a Scottish Business generating a steady turnover, and wish to increase this by £200,000 or more over a three -year period, you can access this funded service.
- Not involved in the programme in the previous 12 months
- The objective of Business Mentoring is to support growing businesses and it is available to senior managers/ business owners.
How it works
Having contacted firstname.lastname@example.org indicating you are interested in taking part in the Mentoring programme, either Bruce Simpson (Vice Convener) or Duncan Swanston (Membership Executive) will talk you through your business development ambitions, determine what you want from a mentor and then, with support of Scottish Chamber/Mentoring staff, carefully match you to a mentor who has the ideal skills and experience to meet your needs.
There are 3 different types of mentoring available:
– One-to-One mentoring
This format will develop a dedicated mentoring relationship with intense focus on high growth issues. Each relationship is tailored and flexible to the customer requirements. Mentors and Mentees will meet in person on a regular basis, averaging one meeting a month over a year, with regular telephone and email communications.
– Group mentoring
Businesses for group mentoring will be invited to participate in a series of organized group mentoring and networking meetings. These sessions will cover a range of business topics with Mentors over six meetings (face-to-face or virtual). Topics may cover core aspects of business growth and expansion as well as investor readiness. Entry selection is based on growth prospects and at what stage of development the business is currently at. Up to 10 -12 businesses will attend each Group mentoring session.
– (Smaller) Group mentoring
On request, the Mentoring Executive will facilitate a Mentor match with a small group of Mentees – up to 3 companies – should the companies wish to participate in this close group form of mentoring. One Mentor will be provided per group and will meet on average 12 occasions over the course of the year.
There is a pool of approximately 800 mentors throughout Scotland, which consists of highly experienced business people from a wide range of sectors and industries with their own unique blend of business and life experience. Crucially, each has a desire to ‘give something back’ and support businesses and the economic growth of Scotland. Mentors provide their time on a voluntary basis and the service is fully funded to businesses that meet the criteria.
Typically, mentors have experience of working at senior level such as CEO or Director level. They have a wide range of skills, for example strategic development, growth, sales, marketing, finance, or operations and are willing to share their experience and their expertise.
Mentors will work with you in a non-judgemental relationship. They will respect your views, and although they may put forward suggestions, every decision you take will be your own.
What is the next step?
If you feel your business would benefit from taking part in the mentoring scheme and you feel that you fit the criteria, contact Bruce/Duncan at email@example.com and we will make an appointment to discuss it with you at a mutually convenient time. Naturally, anything said to either of us in these discussions is totally confidential but, our not being mentors ourselves, we do not need to know anything commercially confidential.
Please do not hesitate to drop us an email if you think the scheme may be of benefit to you.
Scottish Borders Small & Micro Business Mentoring Network
It has been the Chamber’s desire for many years to be able to offer business mentoring to any/every business in the Scottish Borders. However, due to the criteria surrounding the SE Scheme i.e. the need to have an aspiration to grow your business by over £200,000 over a 3 year period, this ruled out a very large proportion of Scottish Borders businesses. It was not only the Scottish Borders Chamber that identified that problem but also the FSB (Scottish Borders) and the Borders Exporters Association. The solution was to create a joint scheme aimed at the “group” mentoring of businesses who either did not comply with the SE Scheme or preferred this group mentoring approach. A case was put before EU Leader in August 2017 which resulted in 100% Leader funding over an 18 month period.
The Scheme is still in its infancy but progress is being made to have it up and running by early 2018 by which time a Mentoring “Facilitator” will have been appointed together with a team of mentors. Applications from businesses wishing to take part will them be widely promoted which will include this website.