Minister Announces 15,000 Business Mentors Milestone

Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk has announced key milestones in mentoring support for entrepreneurs as the first Global Entrepreneurship Congress to be held in Europe gets underway.

The week-long Congress in Liverpool will see a range of activities to champion the entrepreneurial spirit of business people in the UK and around the world. Today, Mark Prisk has announced that the Get Mentoring initiative to recruit 15,000 volunteer business mentors has now passed the halfway mark with more than 7,500 signed up.

Once trained, they will join 11,000 mentors already available through the mentorsme.co.uk portal launched last year. 4,000 of the Get Mentoring volunteers have already been trained meaning that there are now 15,000 mentors available through the portal.

Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk said:

“The Government is committed to making the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a business.

“We have already launched a new BusinessLink website to provide a single comprehensive place for people to get the information they need to start a business and will be providing coaching opportunities for high growth potential businesses.

“Creating a network of thousands of business mentors will give SMEs access to a wealth of knowledge from entrepreneurs who have been there and done it before. It’s encouraging that so many people are signing up to be business mentors and that we are continuing to get the support of influential entrepreneurs who are joining our campaign to boost business mentoring across the UK.”

In another step forward for the programme, prominent entrepreneurs Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, Mike Southon, Carl Hopkins and Penny Power will take on the voluntary roles as mentoring ambassadors, throwing their support behind plans to create a network of tens of thousands of business mentors and promote the Get Mentoring initiative and mentorsme portal.

Entrepreneur and founder of Ecademy, Penny Power said:

“Mentoring has been a critical aspect of my personal journey, often informally provided in conversations with business friends, when I have talked through challenges, opportunities and how to achieve goals and execute my vision. I am delighted to be supporting the Mentorsme programe and look forward to encouraging many more people to ask for help and receive it from people who have been there and care about their success.”

Entrepreneur and founder of The Black Farmer, Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones said:

“I am a great believer that anyone serious about starting a business should make sure they have a mentor they can turn to, especially someone who has trodden the same path before them because the advice that they give will be borne out of a similar experience to their own. I am a huge supporter of the Get Mentoring scheme and pleased to be a part of it.”

The total number of volunteers signed up to the Get Mentoring initiative is now 7544.

This year the Government is running the Business in You campaign to encourage more people to start or grow their business throughout 2012 using a range of existing support services, including mentoring. More information is available at businessinyou.bis.gov.uk.