Over 100 mentoring organisations are already part of the initiative - more than double the number available when the service was first launched in July 2011.
The Minister will today be holding a workshop with up to 60 of the mentoring organisations currently available through the portal. They will discuss ways in which they can boost the demand for mentors so that small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) can benefit from the services on offer.
Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk said:
“The Government is committed to helping entrepreneurs get the advice and support they need to start and grow their business. Business mentors will pass on their knowledge to the next generation of entrepreneurs allowing them to boost their business and help grow the UK economy.
“Mentorsme is playing an important part in the Business in You campaign between the Government and private sector. The campaign aims to unlock the growth potential of small and medium sized enterprises. Mentors are a key component of the Government’s drive to make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a business.”
Angela Knight, chief executive of the British Bankers' Association said:
"When you are running a business, support from an experienced and successful business mentor is invaluable. We are delighted to see Mentorsme growing and thriving, putting the UK's entrepreneurs and businesses in touch with mentors who can help them be a success story.
"Hundreds of bank staff have pledged their support to the mentoring initiative by signing up to become mentors. These staff come from a broad cross section of the banks' departments - for example HR and marketing, as well as finance - so will be able to help businesses in many different ways. These staff will be deployed by the accredited mentoring organisations on Mentorsme and we are delighted to hit the milestone of 100 mentoring organisations on the site because it means more UK businesses can access help and support.
This year the Government is running the Business in You campaign to encourage more people to start or grow their business throughout 2012 using a range of existing support services, including the Mentorsme portal. More information is available at businessinyou.bis.gov.uk.
Mentoring organisations and potential business mentors can find out how to join the national network by visiting www.mentorsme.co.uk. There are currently over 16,000 trained business mentors available on the portal.
Note to editors:
1. Get Mentoring is a public/private-sector partnership, grant assisted by BIS and GEO and led by SFEDI (The Small Firms Development Initiative Limited). SFEDI is the UK expert and Standards Setting Body for business enterprise and enterprise support. http://www.sfedi.co.uk. They are working with over 140 business and trade bodies to deliver Get Mentoring.
2. Trained mentors are deployed through www.mentorsme.co.uk, the UK’s national gateway, operated by the British Bankers Association, for businesses looking for mentoring services.
3. There have been over 50,000 unique visitors to the Mentorsme site since it was launched.
4. BIS's online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See http://www.bis.gov.uk/newsroom for more information.