Applications are Open for MentorsWork – An award-winning initiative of Skillnet Ireland and SFA

19th March 2024

Posted In: Entrepreneurship

MentorsWork, an award-winning initiative of Skillnet Ireland in partnership with the Small Firms Association (SFA), has supported over 3,000 SMEs in Ireland since launching in 2020. MentorsWork offers an expert business mentoring programme to SME businesses from all sectors nationwide with a further 1,000 spaces available.

Recently, Simon Harris TD, Minister of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, alongside Paul Healy, Chief Executive of Skillnet Ireland, officially announced the opening of registrations.

Minister Simon Harris emphasised the importance of initiatives like MentorsWork in nurturing the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises, stating, 

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and providing them with the necessary support and guidance is crucial for their success.

Programmes like MentorsWork play a vital role in empowering SMEs to overcome challenges and thrive in today’s competitive landscape. It is part of our department’s mission to ensure that everyone has access to support to enhance their skills and reach their full potential. We are proud to support MentorsWork on its mission of building a pathway to business success.”

Open to business owners and managers from all industries with 1-250 employees, the 12-week MentorsWork programme introduces participants to a dedicated and experienced mentor who works with them to address their specific areas of concern, alongside masterclasses and peer-to-peer workshops.

Throughout the programme, SME owners and managers gain access to essential tools and knowledge in key areas such as People Management, Business Processes, Finance, Growth Strategies, and Digitalisation.

Paul Healy, Chief Executive of Skillnet Ireland, expressed his enthusiasm for the programme’s impact on the business community, saying, “At Skillnet Ireland we are fostering a culture of continuous learning and upskilling within our SMEs.

The MentorsWork programme delivers support and mentorship opportunities that are driven by individual business needs.

Expert mentors are helping SME owners to innovate, to adopt new technologies and to adjust to the ever-changing market dynamics. The feedback from programme alumni has been powerful with many citing MentorsWork as the key to their continued success.”

By the end of the programme, participants will have created a bespoke business improvement plan with their mentor to help guide them through the following 6 months. In addition to the 12-week programme, MentorsWork offers consultancy services and bespoke team training services to its alumni who have been through the initial programme and require more support with their business development plan.

MentorsWork is an enterprise initiative of SFA, funded by Skillnet Ireland. Skillnet Ireland is funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.

Pictured (l-r): Geraldine Magnier, Director, Idiro Analytics and Chair of the SFA; Barry Prost, Co-founder, Rent a Recruiter; David Broadrick, Director of the Small Firms Association (SFA); Rachael McFarlane, Programme Manager, MentorsWork; Paul Healy, Chief Executive of Skillnet Ireland; Helen Lynch Managing Director of Nina’s Boutique; Graham Buggy, Managing Director, Brendan Buggy Steel Fabrication LTD.