October 27th is National Mentoring Day in the UK and already people and organisations, schools and businesses are being encouraged to promote its value through events and campaigns. Not that anyone should wait until October to get mentoring!
I have been training enterprise mentors for four years now as the Institute for Enterprise and Entrepreneurs (IOEE) national lead trainer for the highly successful National Enterprise Mentoring programme supported by the major UK banks and the British Bankers Association. The mentors are volunteers with a vast range of professional experience in business and banking and, having had their training, go on to be professionally matched by quality assured mentor organisations (MOs) who are partners in the programme. Some of these MOs are enterprise support bodies such as Enterprise First based in Hampshire and others are specialised mentoring businesses such as Business Mentors South West.
What is fantastic is that these mentors are FREE to business owners. Their prime motivation is to give something back and role model effective mentoring as a valuable enterprise support option for entrepreneurs and small business owners. The momentum behind it all is to help UK businesses thrive and grow. A business owner can apply for a mentor via the mentorsme website or their local enterprise organisation.
The training I do is accredited by SFEDI Awards and involves one day in the classroom, highly practical and knowledge based in its approach. So everyone who participates in the learning gains a nationally recognised qualification. Anyone can study the course as it is available as an online option with the IOEE and several of its Enterprise Academies offer it as well, including Leap Frog Mountain. This latter business is run by UK enterprise mentor champion Jackie Jenks who can also support anyone interested in championing mentoring.
National Mentoring Day is a chance to profile mentoring, kick start something in your business or area, hold an event, or simply begin your own personal journey as a mentor or mentee. Personally I have worked with the IOEE this year running highly successful Meet a Mentor events around the UK and it's a great blue print for a short, energising mentor taster event. I'd like to find some would be mentors and mentees in Milton Keynes who would be interested in trying it out. Anyone up for the challenge?