Free Meet a Mentor events announced 

FREE Meet A Mentor events – helping business owners and enterprise mentors to connect.

These are the first in a series of events taking place in Exeter, London, Birmingham and Newcastle.

Are you a business owner looking for mentoring support? Then Meet A Mentor is for you!  Our events are sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group and the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs (IOEE) and are therefore free for both mentors and mentees, however places are limited so we’d recommend signing up as soon as possible to secure your place.

Attendees will find a range of volunteer mentors who are willing to commit time at the event helping business owners’ deal with the day to day and longer term challenges of running a business.Mentors will be able to put their skills and time to good use in a relaxed setting with new and growing businesses who need help and support. The objectives of the event is to raise awareness about the benefits of mentoring and for businesses to meet the fantastic community of mentors interested in supporting them. The event includes many activities designed to help mentors and businesses get to know each other, including an introduction session to set the scene, a spot of speed mentoring, and more chances to connect over lunch. Please note: We cannot guarantee you will meet a match on the day but this will be an opportunity to meet and network with a wide range of people. Please click here to register for the following events:

Exeter – 10th September

London – 23rd September

Birmingham – 8th October

Newcastle – 22nd October

London – 9th December

Tickets are now available. Source: New Meet a Mentor events announced 

Cabinet Office visit to North East. | BJ Upholstery

Cabinet Office Visits SFEDI and the IOEE. Recently the Partnerships Team in the Cabinet Office visited SFEDI, the IOEE and some small businesses that have benefited from mentoring support. The Partnerships Team is a small policy team based in the Cabinet Office in Whitehall which was set up in 2011 to improve relationship management of large companies on behalf of the Prime Minister in order to deliver key Government priorities on skills, jobs and growth with large employers.In the run up to the election, it was looking at how it could do more to support small and medium sized companies to promote regional growth working with our network of large corporates – an agenda that was at the heart of all major party manifestos.It was put in touch with SFEDI by Lloyds Banking Group – which provides a mentoring programme for small businesses across the country and works closely with SFEDI in delivering this – and was delighted to be offered the chance to meet with local business owners and understand their concerns and areas where they felt big business could support as well as Government.The visit gave the team an insight into the day to day experience of local businesses with a small group, comprising of Jo and Barry Griffiths who run an upholstery business [BJ Upholstery], Paul Harper from Zedcomms marketing and Christine Bewley from Aycliffe Fabrications.It gave a first hand understanding of some of the types of challenges and issues these businesses are facing. Some common threads emerged out of the conversation, including:Marketing and digital skills was a shared area that all businesses felt SME’s across different sectors would benefit from training and support with;identifying, attracting and keeping the best talent was essential and schemes like Apprenticeships were important but more support is needed to truly help SME’s make the most of these types of Government backed initiatives;a renewed focus on existing small firms and their sustainability was needed, in addition to help for start ups;the importance of strong business mentoring relationships was key and was a role more big businesses could take on.Interestingly these issues were highlighted as common priorities on similar visits in different areas around the country and therefore the partnerships team is now starting to look at how it can inform the policy process and build on some of the interesting ideas coming out of these discussions – like how can more big companies to provide mentors for SME’s and replicate the success of Lloyds Banking Group’s programme.Ben Cackett from the Partnerships Team said:“We are looking forward to staying in touch with SFEDI and the companies we met to continue the conversation as we develop these policy ideas over the coming weeks. We would like to say a massive thank you to the team at SFEDI for pulling the visit together and for the businesses that gave up their valuable time to meet us”.Source:

Source: Cabinet Office visit to North East. | BJ Upholstery