Join Our Mentor-Net Team

Our Volunteer Business Mentors are the lifeblood of the service and not only support individual businesses to become successful in their own terms, but are also important to the local economy.

Mentors have a background in setting up and running their own businesses, working in senior corporate positions or the professions, but all with a very good understanding of what it means to start and develop a small business.

Our Mentors use their own valuable experience to listen, question and guide the client to understand the actions they need to take, how to implement them and the consequences of the activity. They do not tell their client how to run their business or get actively involved in any work or the day to day running of the organisation – they are simply ‘a brain to pick, an ear to listen and a push in the right direction’ (Author: John Crosby).

Successful Mentors usually demonstrate a combination of characteristics that include:

  • Extensive business experience and knowledge, normally gained by running a small business.
  • A good, broad understanding of the issues and concerns of small businesses
  • High ethical standards in business dealings
  • An ability to mentor others as individuals and in the context of their business
  • Enthusiasm, empathy and listening skills

Do I need to have run a small business to be a Mentor?

While it is not essential that you have run a small business you will need to have a very broad understanding of all aspects of managing a business, from sales and marketing to financial management and managing staff. We don’t expect you to know everything and that’s where the breadth of experience within the team can support you and your client.

How much time will being a Mentor-net Mentor take?

This depends on a number of factors such as how many businesses you are willing to work with. However, on average it will probably work out at about half a day per month per business.

How many businesses will I be asked to mentor?

This is entirely up to you. You will only be asked to take on as many clients as you are willing to support.

Will I be paid for mentoring?

No. All Mentor-net mentors are volunteers who give their time freely. However, mileage expenses for mentoring within the county are available.

What training is provided?

All mentors will receive induction training which covers the basic essentials. After that, there are regular mentor meetings for updates, training and networking (approximately 3-4 per year).

Will I need Professional Indemnity Insurance?

Mentor-net holds a group Professional Indemnity Insurance Policy that covers all our Mentors, whilst on Mentor-net activity

I’m retired, can I apply to become a Mentor-net mentor?

Many of mentors are retired and they make a huge and important contribution to the work we do. However, mentors need to be reasonably up to date with business practice etc. and so we usually prefer new mentors to join us within 12 months of retiring. If in doubt, contact us.