B2B Mentoring

This is an archived project description

Please note we no longer provide mentoring. This information is provided to help illustrate the range of work UCVR has been involved in.

Sarah Moss (left) with Rosemary and Mike Holcroft, who run the Water Street Gallery in Todmorden

Business-to-business mentoring

Mentoring is the passing-on of technical knowledge, support, guidance and advice. At the heart of it is a relationship between a mentor and mentee. A mentor is an experienced person who uses their knowledge and understanding to support the development and growth of a mentee. The role of the mentor is to build a relationship of mutual respect and trust with the mentees with whom they work, aiming to help them achieve greater happiness and success in their business life.

The benefits of having a mentor are that you get an increased sense of direction, purpose, self-esteem, motivation and confidence. On this scheme you will get an opportunity to work with a positive role model and with someone who understands your business and emotional needs.

Why we offered this free service?

Following the Boxing Day Floods in 2015, UCVR, Calderdale Council Business Team and the University of Leeds produced an economic impact report showing that the local economy in Calderdale mostly consists of micro, small, and medium-sized businesses trading with each other.

It was therefore important to support the networking and trading opportunities for local businesses. As we are predominantly a micro, small, and medium- sized business economy, it was decided that who was better to help and support recovering and new small businesses than those who have started and run successful businesses themselves? Some of those who received help went on to become mentors themselves.

How it worked in practice

Mentors and mentees were asked to commit to at least one meeting per month for a minimum of six months. UCVR ran an induction process to identify mentor skills, mentee needs and working styles to make the best possible matches. Both mentor and mentee worked within the mentoring programme’s code of conduct and ethics and agreed to record each meeting and action points. They also took part in monitoring and evaluating the programme. Ongoing support and regular networking events was also available.

By volunteering to share knowledge, give constructive feedback and provide inspiration and motivation, mentors could help businesses in other ways, for example creating new products and services, identifying new customers or exporting and importing goods. This could result in the benefit of improved productivity for businesses as well as developing new skills for themselves.

The key qualities of a mentor were good listening skills and the ability to discuss anything which is important to their mentees. Mentors needed respect for other peoples’ personal opinions and beliefs and the ability to share relevant experiences and problems. They needed to be able to ask perceptive and thoughtful questions, engage in effective action planning and be able to review and evaluate mentees’ progress.

The benefits of being a mentor:

  • Increasing your personal effectiveness
  • Experiencing the satisfaction of helping people to develop and achieve their business and personal goals

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