MentorsWork Places Available for SMEs – Apply Now!

12th September 2022

Posted In: Be In The Frame

New MentorsWork places are now available for SME owners on their award-winning programme, which provides professional expertise in business planning, productivity and development. MentorsWork is a government-funded 12-week subsidised mentoring programme open to owners and managers in any private sector business, with up to 250 employees.

The scheme offers one-to-one mentoring with an independent mentor, with relevant sectorial expertise, as well as masterclasses, workshops, a learning portal and online business tools.

Feedback from over 2,000 business owners, who have completed the programme, has been exceptional and the organisers – the Small Firms Association (SFA) and Skillnet Ireland, are encouraging more SMEs to consider this opportunity.

A recent report compiled by MentorsWork on the skills needs of Small and Medium Enterprise in Ireland indicates finance and growth management and planning, in particular, is holding back productivity and business development for SMEs in certain sectors.

Data shows that businesses established for 10 years or less have more difficulty accessing finance and financial supports.  So, too, do those with 9 employees or less.  ICT and services are the sectors particularly challenged when it comes to financing needs.

Higher business age, the companies around for longest, and bigger businesses with more than 21 employees are associated with greater financial literacy and competency.  The services industry is associated with lower levels of financial literacy in the MentorsWork report.

The MentorsWork programme includes in-depth competency assessment on the main productivity drivers for SMEs, one of which is finance and growth skills, Skillnet Ireland Chief Executive, Paul Healy said.

“Programmes are developed in response to specific business needs, which we regularly measure and assess.

Our latest data from recent MentorsWork participants has helped us refine supports in the areas of finance and business growth for specific types of business.

“For example, the new 2022 MentorsWork programme, includes a more intensive programme for faster growing businesses, as well as additional new support in progressing a business plan for former scheme participants” the Skillnet CEO added.

As part of the programme, participants engage with one-to-one mentoring. A strategy focus is something very significant that an independent mentor can bring to a business, Sven Spollen-Behrens, Director of the Small Firms Association (SFA), said. “Small business owners are pulled in all directions and will often manage day-to-day operations and sales and marketing too, to keep business ticking over.

Where MentorsWork helps is in directing attention to future business planning, such as what does expansion look like, how will it be funded, and where will it come from?”

MentorsWork has supported businesses in many sectors, including services and manufacturing for domestic and international markets.  Lifestyle, hair and beauty, childcare, technology, retail, marketing services, recruitment and small manufacturing have been largely represented, with businesses from over 16 counties participating in the 12-week programme.

SME owners and managers can apply now to participate at here>>