Business Mentoring

Find a Business Mentor

If you’re a business supporter of Silicon South, you can find a mentor from an array of Founders and Senior Directors with a broad range of experience across all areas of Creative, Digital and Tech. 

Step 1. Make sure you’re signed into your account  

Step 2. Click on the “Find a Mentor” button 

Step 3. Use the filters to search for a mentor who closely matches what you need 

Step 4. Email them directly to make an approach – and go from there! 

If your business is not a supporter already, you can Sign in or Join Now 

Mentoring is free and offered by founders who generously give their time to help others 

Why would I want a Mentor?

Running a business can be daunting, especially when you’re starting out.

When you have to take decisions about how your business should operate, develop and thrive, it’s amazingly helpful to talk to someone else who has been through all the steps you face, before. It allows a founder to be much more confident about the decisions they have to make.

Most founders have great skills in a specific area – like design, development, planning etc. – and can invariably deliver fantastic projects and products – but that isn’t the same as running a fantastic company – which needs different knowledge.

That’s where a mentor fits in. A good mentor should have more experience in running a business than you, which they’re willing to share. They’re not there to tell you what to do, but they can help you understand the implications of your plans and aims and make sure you feel much more comfortable with them.

They will give you an hour or two every month to act as a sounding board for your next steps and help you see the bigger picture, appreciate the potential hurdles, and explore avenues you might not have considered.

How does Mentoring work?

It’s up to you to sort out the best arrangement with your mentor but we suggest something along these lines…

Before meeting your mentor for the first time – build a clear idea of what you are trying to achieve for your business and the areas you want to discuss.

You’ll meet your mentor either in person or virtually for an informal chat, to allow you to find out about each other and ensures the pairing is right, as having a good relationship is vital for effective mentoring. If you don’t think you’re a good fit, either of you can walk away then, no hard feelings. You can search again, this time with a bit more of an idea of what you need.

When you have a pairing you’re both happy with, you should arrange six one-to-one meetings over the next 6-9 months at regular intervals which suit you both.

Become a Mentor

Being a mentor is a highly fulfilling experience. It’s a chance for you to give back to others and provide some of the feedback which you might have yearned for when you started out or else gladly received and helped you grow your business.

You are asked to provide a minimum of 6 sessions with your mentee over a 6-9 month period. Each session should last for between 1 to 2 hours, as seems appropriate.

All you have to do is enter your details in your company profile (via the dashboard). Once entered, your details will be presented to any prospective mentee searching for a mentor. A prospective mentee will be able to contact you directly – via a contact page.

This will notify you via email of their interest in an initial conversation. (We ask that you check and confirm they are, in fact, supporters of the Silicon South Network on the directory, first). The rules of engagement are fairly light-touch – and covered in the section above and the FAQs below.

If any issues or questions arise during the mentoring process, please do get in touch with the team and we can help to resolve them.


FAQs for Mentors & Mentees

Is the Mentoring program confidential?

Yes. Mentoring relationships and the topics discussed should be kept strictly in confidence.

What should the Mentor provide?

Mentors should offer support and guidance only. Mentors should not offer advice, but help their mentees discover options and solutions for themselves and make their own decisions.

Who is the lead in the relationship?

Mentees should always feel in charge of the decision they take. Mentors should not be overly persuasive, leaving the mentees to make up their minds about what they believe will work best for them, their experience and their abilities. 

What support do Mentors provide?

Mentors can help plan and build a strategy which works for your ambitions. They will be objective and provide a sounding board for your ideas. Mentors can point out some of the flaws as well as the positives, and offer alternative ideas and solutions for you to consider. 

How much involvement will the Mentor have?

Mentors will ask questions and help their mentees come up with solutions for themselves – they are much more likely to effectively follow their own ideas. 

How long will the mentoring programme last?

Mentoring relationships should last for 6 months to a year. At the end of this, the relationship should be reviewed and a decision made to continue or not. 

What happens next?

When a mentor relationship ends, a new one can be started. Most top-level blue chip CEOs have mentors – an effective sounding board is highly useful at all stages of a career.

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