Helping businesses in the South West

Mentoring

What is mentoring?

As part of the Start Up Loan scheme, all recipients receive free on-going business support from a mentor for the first year.

Mentors are experienced business people who have either owned and run their own business in the past, have worked at a high level in businesses or have specific experience in the areas commonly needed by young businesses, such as sales and marketing.
Once you have received your Start Up Loan from SWIG Finance, we will put you in touch with one of these mentors who will support you in your first year. You’ll be able to ask them for advice and support in your early days of running your own business while you find your feet.
Your mentor offers you two hours per month of support in the first three months once you have received your loan and one hour per month from then on until the end of your first year.

How to make the most of your mentor:

Most people will have areas of strength and weakness when it comes to running their own business and working with a mentor will help you to plug any gaps you may have. It is important that you try to develop a professional but friendly relationship with your mentor, even though at first asking someone questions who you don’t know can be intimidating.

Here are some steps to help you make the most of your mentor and benefit your business:

• Plan your meetings and conversations in advance. This might be as simple as thinking about what you want to ask or writing down your issues or even tackling a specific problem such as your financials or marketing strategy. Not only will this help you use your time more efficiently, but your mentor will be encouraged by your enthusiasm, giving you more from your sessions.

• If you do have to cancel your meeting, let your mentor know as soon as soon as possible. Don’t forget to consider that they will have their own meetings and arrangements that they will also need to change.

• Keep in regular contact with your mentor: you will get more out of the relationship as long as you are willing to put the effort in. Start by making the initial contact with your mentor and you will give off a positive attitude and your relationship will start more productively.

Who is my mentor?

Once you have received your Start Up Loan from SWIG Finance you should receive an email giving you your mentor’s details. If you’re not sure who your mentor is or you haven’t been contacted by anyone, please let us know. Email or call 01872 223 883.