Bizmentors® is a mentoring programme for business owners and start-up / emerging businesses, social enterprises and community groups. It aims to provide free access to business expertise and wisdom to people in businesses, social enterprises and community groups who may otherwise have difficulty accessing such expertise.
Bizmentors® is open to new and existing businesses to help nurture and further develop new businesses. At times it can be a lonely and isolated road for owners of SMEs and this is a chance for SME owners to access expertise, guidance and business advice. Small businesses are important contributors to each other providing knowledge and experience.
Their survival and growth not only brings investment returns for individual businesses, it also underpins the wider community and the image as a provider of high quality, innovative and sustainable business excellence. Since bizmentors® was established in May of 2012, over 1000 businesses, social enterprises and community groups have participated in the programme. Each Mentor provides 3 hours mentoring support to each applicant. This will be carried out over a 3 month period aimed at maximising the time the participants have with their Mentors.
Mentoring support is available in the following areas: Finance | Sales | Marketing & PR | IT | Human Resources | Training and Development | Business Planning | R&D | Quality | General Business Management
Bizmentors is part of a recently launched European-wide project which see’s five EU regions come together to create a transnational business mentoring solution. The initiative is a three-year project co-funded by the EU Interreg Northern Periphery and Artic Programme (NPA), with a total budget in the region of €1.3m. Participating partners are from Finland, Iceland, and Northern Ireland.
Poor access to business expertise and networks is a challenge for SMEs and entrepreneurs across the NPA. This is especially true for SMEs in low business density and population density areas and for under-represented groups including women, the disabled and ethnic minorities. The Bizmentors model, relies on the local support of established businesspeople (mentors) to provide free guidance to those seeking it (mentees) in a structured and low cost way. This project aims to innovate the model using an online interactive platform and shared learning to scale and expand Bizmentors in the NPA Region, making expertise accessible to all enterprises and entrepreneurs.
Supporting Growth, Jobs & Stability
David Noone, ProcureWizard Ireland
‘The bizmentors® programme has provided us with the much needed support and expertise that has allowed our business to flourish and grow since our first meeting over two years ago. While we recognised that we didn’t have all the answers, being able to access some of the leading business people in the region has been unbelievable and it has given us the tools to really push forward to bigger and better things. I would highly recommend any small business to get in touch and avail of the fantastic service provided by this organizations. You won’t regret it!’
Derek Nolan Former TD, Labour Party Deputy for Galway West
‘I visited the SCCUL Enterprise Centre in Ballybane recently and I was really impressed with the entire operation. The commitment, energy and enthusiasm shown by everyone involved in this initiative is second to none. The bizmentors® Programme is a fantastic resource in the city and it provides a really valuable service to people starting out in business. Everyone who takes the very courageous step of starting a new venture needs proper support and advice and the mentoring programme provides exactly that, and on a pro-bono basis. I couldn’t praise this programme highly enough and I am very proud of the fact that it began in Galway.’
Former Senator Lorraine Higgins
‘To my mind the bizmentors® programme is a fantastic support. The commitment, vision and generosity of all involved is highly commendable. This is a project that deserves to thrive. Based on the initiative’s success to date, I have no doubt that this is a programme which will bring great rewards to Galway and has the potential to expand right across Ireland. I look forward to bizmentors® continued success and to the tremendous support it will provide to our business community.’