October 12, 2010

FSB outlines national mentoring scheme proposals

by Jan Harris

The Federation of Small Businesses has outlined its vision to create a national mentoring scheme in a new report.

Although the Government provides business support of between £10 billion and £12 billion pounds each year, only 5 per cent of this goes to micro businesses – firms with fewer than 5 employees – even though 95 per cent of all businesses in the UK fall into this category.

With around two-thirds of start-ups expected to fail in their first year, the proposed scheme would offer advice from mentors with experience in running a successful business, which could make the difference between a company surviving or failing.

However, the scheme would also support growing businesses as well as start-ups.

One of the key recommendations of the report is that it must be business-led, rather than Government led, and the FSB wants it to be backed financially by the banking industry.

The scheme would be managed by a new body, the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs, which would match appropriate mentors with the business needing support.

The mentors would be able to move away from their mentoring role and ultimately become investors in the business if they wished.

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