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Rural Business Network Launches Free Mentoring Initiative

Rural Business Network Launches Free Mentoring Initiative


Rural Business Network (RBN) in partnership with Business Mentors New Zealand (BMNZ) has launched a new initiative offering mentoring support to rural businesses throughout New Zealand. The project is called ‘Rural Mentor’ and will provide a tool to enhance on-farm profitability and enable access to skills and knowledge that isn’t commonly known to be available.

The new Rural Mentor initiative sees the BMNZ registration fee waived for a limited number of NZYF and Rural Business Network members

Daile Jones, National Rural Business Network Coordinator says `Farmers in the sheep, beef or dairy sector operating their own business or farm managers that want a fresh perspective, will be matched with a business professional who can offer confidential advice, assistance and support that will help overcome business challenges, set new goals and achieve success. There’s no lack of knowledge out there, just a shortage of knowing what information is available.’

Ray Schofield CEO of Business Mentors New Zealand says `The purpose of this initiative is to assist rural businesses and remove any real or perceived barriers to business owners accessing support from BMNZ. Business mentors are experienced, successful business people who come from a wide range of industry backgrounds, from farm gate and beyond, who understand New Zealand business.’

`A business mentor is unique one-to-one, confidential and highly experienced in the trials and tribulations of running a small to medium sized enterprise. One of the big things is the isolation which rural businesses are often faced with. A business mentor takes that away and provides a sounding board to take the business to the next level.’

The collaboration between Rural Business Network and Business Mentors New Zealand was strategic, “It’s an inter-dependant relationship. By joining forces Business Mentors New Zealand gets access to a network of farmers they otherwise wouldn’t and the Rural Business Network is able to offer a credible mentoring system”, Daile Jones says.

Business Mentors New Zealand is the country’s only national volunteer business mentoring service. The not-for-profit organisation helps around 250 businesses find a mentor every month and has assisted more than 70,000 small to medium-size enterprise owners in New Zealand since 1991. Business Mentors provides access to almost 2,000 volunteer mentors (who give their experience, skill and knowledge free of charge). The registration fee covers administration and matching.

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