Dozens of jobs are being created and many more safeguarded thanks to Let’s Do Mentoring, the volunteer business support scheme run by the North Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce (NSCCI).
Through the scheme, which is run by the NSCCI Project Team with funding from the European Regional Development Fund, experienced and successful businesspeople are giving something back to the local community by mentoring entrepreneurs and growing enterprises. The result has been to secure jobs and pave the way for growth in a wide range of businesses.
The rapidly expanding network of mentors is a prime example of high level Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in action and their success is a clear sign that the community engagement principles of “big society” trends can deliver real economic benefits.
Established in 2005, the project was given a major boost in May 2009 when the NSCCI Project Team took full responsibility for its organisation. Having been rebranded and given a higher profile, Let’s Do Mentoring has gone from strength to strength over the last year and a half. Its volunteer team has significantly increased to the current level of 40 mentors plus a further 15 keen to join.
The mentors are a powerful source of business expertise, having long experience in fields that include finance, law, marketing, manufacturing, engineering, training, logistics, social enterprise – in fact the complete spectrum of commercial activity. Some are retired business owners and senior managers, others lead thriving companies.
They share a common desire to put something back in the community where they themselves have been successful and at the same time support North Staffordshire’s economic prosperity. The mentors meet their clients on a regular basis to help identify key issues facing the business, offer support in decision-making and provide a sounding board for new ideas.
As well as working individually with client companies, the mentors can call on specialist skills from other members of the team to address specific issues and challenges. Monthly meetings give mentors the chance to network, compare notes and call for input from colleagues.
50 new jobs created during 2009/10. 345 jobs currently sustained with the help of mentor support.
Since June 2010, 56 company directors have accessed mentoring support (at November 2010), representing total turnover of £9.3m.
40 active mentors (at November 2010) with a further 15 interested in joining. Average total of 60 hours per month spent with clients.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Mentors are commited to making positive changes in their local community.
If you would like to access mentoring or become a mentor contact the NSCCI Project Team
Contact details: NSCCI Project Team, Commerce House, Festival Park, Stoke on Trent, ST1 5BE