Business Mentors Providing More Involved Advice Than Ever
14th October 2013
Business Mentors Providing More Involved Advice Than Ever Before
The country’s 1,900 volunteer business mentors are providing more in depth advice to New Zealand’s small to medium sized enterprises than ever before, the CEO of Business Mentors New Zealand, the only national, volunteer business mentoring organisation, told its 22nd AGM today.
Ray Schofield, CEO Business Mentors New Zealand told the AGM, hosted by ASB Bank at its new North Wharf building in Auckland: `Our business mentors are now more hands on than ever. When we started 56% of SMEs saw their mentor only once. That figure has fallen to an all time low of 16% as mentoring has become so much more part of a business owner’s development. On average our mentors will visit a business more than four times, but many mentor/business relationships last for quite long periods of time and become an essential part of the business’ development. Our mentors work closely with tens of thousands of SMEs and their owners, and have become a vital part of nurturing the New Zealand economy.’
Business Mentors New Zealand helps around 250 businesses every month and has assisted more than 65,000 small to medium-size enterprise owners in New Zealand over the last 22 years.
Ray Schofield commented: `Cash flow is still the number one problem facing SMEs but our mentors with the support of many of our Partner Patrons have become more creative in helping businesses find solutions to managing it. We are still asked, what sort of mentor will I get, or will people think less of me for asking for help, but by and large New Zealanders are becoming more willing to use a business mentor as a way of making their business more successful.
‘We have clearly shown that business mentoring has a significant role to play in the health of the country’s economy. New Zealanders make very good mentors. Friendliness and the values of “putting something back”, fairness and giving someone a hand up, resonate well with most of us. We have accumulated significant “grassroots” knowledge of small businesses and their owners –what their strengths, weaknesses and needs really are (as opposed to what they say they are).’
Through the work of over 1,900 independent volunteer business mentors BMNZ enables people with recognised skills and success to put something back into their own communities. Business Mentors New Zealand provides access to a wide variety of volunteer mentors (who give their experience, skill and knowledge free of charge). The focus of the organisation is on developing capability, profitability, and employment generation. Business Mentors New Zealand is funded largely by patrons from the private sector, with additional support from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. It provides a mentoring service to any businesses that are trading, with less than 25 employees.
There is no limit on the number of mentoring sessions. The $150 registration fee allows mentoring for up to two years. The term of the relationship with a mentor depends on the objectives and goals both client and mentor jointly agrees upon. They can also contact their co-ordinator at any point for further assistance
For more information about Business Mentors New Zealand please visit www.businessmentors.org.nz