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Business mentoring receives funding boost

Hon Jim Anderton
Minister for Economic, Industry and Regional Development
Progressive Leader

16 December 2003

Business mentoring receives government funding boost

Free mentoring services for small businesses have received a boost from the Government with additional funding being approved, Minister of Economic Development Hon Jim Anderton announced today.

"Coaching and mentoring are integral for New Zealand business development and that is why an additional $500,000 has been allocated, by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, to ensure more companies can receive support," the Minister says.

The mentoring services involved are delivered throughout the country by Business In The Community and Company Rebuilders, supported by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.

"NZTE evaluated the mentoring services delivered by these two organisations over the past year and because of the positive feedback received, recommended additional funding to ensure these services could continue and be enhanced. I am pleased to support that step," Mr Anderton said.

"The companies who've already been involved say it's been extremely worthwhile and has helped boost their confidence, enthusiasm and energy. In many cases simply having someone to talk to and discuss ideas with was enough to provide confidence that they were on the right track."

Business In The Community and Company Rebuilders are important partners of NZTE. They are both run by charitable trusts with mentoring services provided free by a wide range of experienced business people.

Business In The Community provides about 14,000 mentoring sessions annually to 3700 clients (averaging four sessions per client) and Company Rebuilders provides approximately 6000 mentoring sessions to 1,200 clients (averaging five sessions per client).

"This additional funding support through NZTE will guarantee a future for free mentoring services and ensure the quality being provided is enhanced."

Business In The Community has developed a website to enable mentors to communicate more effectively with each other. The website contains an extensive range of business information to assist mentors with their work.

"It has also developed an online database of mentors that enables the 22 licensed agencies throughout New Zealand to select the most relevant mentor for each client's business needs," says Mr Anderton.

The extra funding will assist with further development of this valuable web site.

A proportion of the additional funding has been granted to Company Rebuilders to assist in expanding the number of volunteer mentors and to cover their expenses. Many of these mentors are retired senior executives who are dedicating substantial time each week for mentoring work.

Information on business mentoring is available from NZTE's Enterprise Hotline (0800 555 888) or online at www.nzte.govt.nz (first thing Wednesday) or www.biz.org.nz. Alternatively clients can contact Business In The Community (www.businessmentor.org.nz) or Company Rebuilders directly.

ENDS

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