Posted: Tue 14th Jun 2022
Banking giant Santander, telecoms firm Vodafone and multi-award-winning mentor Herman Stewart are among those signed up as volunteer mentors in the government's flagship Help to Grow: Management Course.
Launched in August 2021, the programme has the long-term target of reaching up to 30,000 business leaders to help improve productivity and growth.
It includes a 90% government-funded, 12-week course to be taken alongside full-time work, which is then followed up with one-to-one mentoring from experienced business leaders and mentors to reinforce good lessons.
Applications for the volunteer positions are now open.
Herman Stewart, known as 'the mentor's mentor', is the founder of Every Child Needs a Mentor and is passionate about making mentoring more accessible in the UK. He said:
"I'm excited to be involved in this important programme. If we're really going to turn the dial on productivity and growth, we need to significantly improve access to inspiring mentors that can help the next generation of business leaders to expand their horizons and achieve their goals.
"That can only happen if they can be helped to find their path, by working with someone who has already learned those lessons through challenge and experience."
Santander has also pledged to donate the time of some of its most experienced leaders within its business to help drive the Help to Grow: Management Course.
Tim Hinton, head of corporate and commercial banking at Santander UK, said:
"We are totally committed to supporting this national effort to help boost the growth of small businesses, not least through our talented and experienced employees acting as volunteer mentors."
They join co-working space provider WeWork and strong candidates from the mentoring scene, including banking and fintech innovator Helene Panzarino, award-winning 40 Fathoms founder Chris Cole and e-commerce innovator Nathan Lomax of Quickfire Digital.
Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation, part of the consortium of businesses recruiting volunteer mentors for the scheme, said:
"It's humbling to see mentors with such calibre stepping forward to offer their experience and knowledge to the next generation of entrepreneurs.
"Giving confidence and support to future generations of wealth creators is vital if we are going to deliver the boost our future economy needs."
Led by business support group Newable, the consortium, which also includes the Association of Business Mentors, has been grant-funded to develop a national network of business leaders and experts who will share their skills and experience with firms on the practical management training course.
Want to help a small business grow?
Being a mentor goes far beyond the rewarding feeling of 'giving back'. Mentors gain a range of personal development benefits from the experience.
Become a voluntary mentor for the Help to Grow: Management Course and commit 10 hours over 12 weeks to support businesses with their growth action plan. Sign up today
The national mentoring element of the Help to Grow: Management Course is being delivered by a partnership of Newable, Enterprise Nation and the Association of Business Mentors on behalf of the Department for Business & Trade.