Greater Manchester-based businesses are being given the chance to work with some of the region’s leading names in business thanks to mentoring services provided by GC Business Growth Hub.
To celebrate National Mentoring Day on Sunday 27 October, GC Business Growth Hub is highlighting the positive impacts its mentoring programmes are having on businesses, The Hub is also inviting Greater Manchester SMEs who haven’t yet explored the potential benefits of mentoring to get in touch to find out more about the fully-funded services on offer.
GC Business Growth Hub, part of The Growth Company and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, is hoping the day will inspire more people to become a mentee and highlight the benefits and rewards of having a business mentor.
Dawn Duggan, People, Skills and Talent Lead at GC Business Growth Hub, said: “Having a mentor can make a huge difference to entrepreneurs, business owners and leaders. The most successful people surround themselves with those they learn from, so it’s no surprise that many of our aspirational clients ask for a mentor.
“Mentors can make a huge difference to a mentee through the insights they share from their own personal experience, helping them to navigate the everyday challenges faced when running a business. Everyone has their own individual challenges and no two people are the same. Therefore, we match mentors with a person rather than a business.”
On average GC Business Growth Hub match 10 new mentoring relationships each month, with mentors meeting with their mentees for between 10 to 20 hours for one-to-one mentoring sessions.
Over the last seven years, more than 800 mentoring relationships have been formed, with more than 8,000 hours of voluntary support provided by the 400 mentors GC Business Growth Hub is able to call upon.
The mentors are all volunteers are drawn from a wide cross section of businesses across the Greater Manchester area.
Dr Somayeh Taheri, CEO and owner of Manchester-based Urban Chain, a company pioneering the use of Blockchain and AI to reduce household energy bills, highlights how mentoring has helped her company to treble its growth.
The 2018 Venturefest finalist approached GC Business Growth Hub for mentoring support when she was at a crossroads with her business. She was matched with business mentor Naomi Timperley, co-founder of Tech North Advocates, who has been her mentor for the last 12 months.
Following mentoring support Urban Chain’s valuation has increased from €2M to €6M, has gained 10 new customers, and recruited two new members of staff, with a further 20 jobs predicted by the end of 2019.
Dr Taheri said: “I turned to GC Business Growth Hub’s mentoring programme because I had some big business decisions that I needed to make, including how to approach investment in my business and attract new customers.
“Naomi asks challenging questions, speaks her mind and I trust and value her opinion greatly. Having a business mentor has helped me accelerate in making important decisions and has definitely opened up new opportunities for me.
“If you’re a business owner grappling with big decisions or need a confidential sounding board to share ideas with, I would highly recommend enlisting the support of a business mentor. They understand the challenges faced as they have been through similar experiences themselves in their own working lives.”
GC Business Growth Hub is part of The Growth Company, which is responsible for identifying SMEs which could benefit from Mentoring for Growth, a flagship programme run by Be the Business, which connects SMEs with big names in business. Mentors available include senior figures from the UK's leading businesses including GSK, Amazon and The John Lewis Partnership.
Should an SME not qualify for the Be the Business programme it can still benefit from GC Business Growth Hub's own mentoring services, meaning a mentoring service is available to all small businesses.
Be the Business, which oversees Mentoring for Growth programme, is the business-led organisation created to drive up UK productivity and competitiveness.