The GC Mentoring Programme enables businesses to access mentors to benefit from their experience
Businesses owners often face issues and challenges that are not necessarily addressed by traditional sources business support. Sometimes specific business or sector experience is required from people or organisations who have been there and done it successfully! The GC Mentoring Programme enables businesses to access mentors to benefit from their experience.
Businesses (SMEs) are referred to the GC Business Growth Hub through the various in-house business support programmes. They are referred at the appropriate time for them so that they have already received support for the business and are now looking for personal development through the use of a mentor on a particular topic/challenge that they are facing. Each mentee completes a profile which provides information about themselves and the challenges, the type of mentor they would like including skill set, knowledge, experience and personality. This profile is then used by the mentoring team to complete a matching exercise where the profiles of the mentors are looked at t ensure an appropriate match is made on both sides. Both are introduced to each other via email and they are also asked to complete an induction pack which contains a code of conduct, statement of understanding about responsibilities and roles, confidentiality etc. Both parties understand what is expected of them and what they are aiming to achieve, working to a common goal.

Resources needed

Financial resources
Running costs - £40,000 per advisor per year.
Management costs - £18,000 per year.
Mentor expenses - £2,000 per year
Other costs re: professional development, events, quarterly dinners etc - £10,000 per year
IT costs - £1,500 per year

Evidence of success

There are 679 active mentoring relationships providing advice, guidance and support on a whole range of issues. These are not always from the same sector, or business types. The scheme concentrates more on general aspects of business development only gained from experience.

Difficulties encountered

Engaging suitable mentors with enough experience to be able to really create growth in new and developing companies

Potential for learning or transfer

The mentor matching process ensures the GC BGH gets it right first time. With new mentor/mentee profile forms including additional questions around challenges and issues to ensure greater alignment to the mentor’s skillset. A mentoring advisor will meet/speak with the mentee, to probe deeper around specific requirements/challenges to aid a better match and to gauge the personality of the mentee. To ensure a consistent approach to the matching process and to share intelligence, the mentoring team speak weekly/fortnightly about any matches.

There is also on-going mentor support - regular mentor only events have been very well received by mentors. These include;
• formal evening dinners
• less formal networking events to build connections and round table style discussions
• Continuous Professional Development(CPD) sessions are designed to meet the request of the mentors
Induction workshops for new mentors
. The programme is simple to replicate in any region.
Main institution
Greater Manchester Business Growth Hub
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom
Start Date
January 2015
End Date


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