Business mentoring scheme launched to help with post-lockdown recovery

PUBLISHED: 17:21 24 August 2020 | UPDATED: 17:22 24 August 2020

Ben Cooper from A&D Electrical Services with his mentor, former leader of St Albans District Council Alec Campbell. Picture: Supplied

Ben Cooper from A&D Electrical Services with his mentor, former leader of St Albans District Council Alec Campbell. Picture: Supplied

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A new initiative, launched by three Herts-based organisations, will see businesses paired with mentors to help get them back on track.

Caroline Syson, who launched her business in January and is being mentored by Rachel Sheridan from Harpenden. Picture: SuppliedCaroline Syson, who launched her business in January and is being mentored by Rachel Sheridan from Harpenden. Picture: Supplied

Herts businesses are being offered a free life line in the form of a personal mentor, thanks to the Volunteer Business Support Scheme launched by the Hertfordshire Growth Hub, University of Hertfordshire and funded by the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

The free support is being delivered until the end of the year by a team of 40 volunteer business advisors. Businesses are matched with a mentor who acts as a ‘critical friend’.

Mentor Alec Campbell, former St Albans District Council leader says “I wanted to help local businesses address their immediate challenges and survive. However, it is also very much about helping businesses take stock and develop plans to achieve longer-term growth plans and goals.”

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Alec is mentoring Ben Cooper of A & D Electrical Services Limited who explained: “Our commercial work dried up overnight, questioning the company’s viability and leading us to apply for the scheme. The support we received has been excellent, we’ve developed a new sales and marketing plan. We are focussing on the educational sector, helping to maintain electrical safety and emergency lighting compliance. We’ve developed a robust test and record management system which allows us to update and renew electrical infrastructures to a high standard.”

Another local mentor, Rachel Sheridan from Harpenden is working with Caroline Syson from Pocket PA – an innovative and powerful ‘business in a box’ app for self employed business people to keep on top of bookings, invoicing and cash flow. Caroline launched her business in January.

Caroline said: “This has been an incredibly difficult time, I really needed the expertise of an experienced mentor to help guide and support Pocket PA. Thankfully I have been matched with Rachel, who has given excellent suggestions and advice to help steer us through.”

Paul Eysink from Finomisult.com has been matched to a client who has an impairment which means verbal communication is not possible, so has been using an online whiteboard programme to help overcome the obstacle.

To find out more go to https://www.herts.ac.uk/business/business-support-volunteers


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