Local business men and women are giving their own time to help the next generation of entrepreneurs with the Let’s Do Business Group (LDBG) and the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) scheme.
The LDBG manage the Government-funded scheme across Sussex and Surrey with the goal of helping those in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance to become self-employed.
Mentoring plays an essential part of the NEA scheme, with mentors sharing their knowledge and providing mentees with support and guidance.
Laura Dziaszyk, managing director of Spotlight On Management, volunteered as a mentor because she finds enjoyment and satisfaction in helping businesses.
“My main skill is change management, particularly in business strategy and process.
“This is an ideal combination for helping new businesses, so I volunteered when I heard about the scheme.
“I gain great satisfaction from guiding my mentees towards success.”
Laura has been mentoring with the LDBG for almost two years and with a background in Blue Chip companies she has a lot of experience to draw from when mentoring.
Her advice to new businesses would be to “thoroughly understand your finances and control your cash flow.
“Match your strategic expectations with your capability to deliver,” said Laura.
Nick Casson, director of Tax Assist started mentoring with the NEA scheme two years ago also, because he saw it as a way to help new businesses get off the ground and succeed by utilising his own experience and contacts.
When asked the most useful piece of advice he could give to someone starting out in business, Nick said “Be receptive to guidance, especially to things outside of your comfort zone.
“Be flexible about how you approach your customers and the market in your business plan.
“These will be changing constantly due to changing legislation, market conditions and technology.”
One of Nick’s mentees, Stephen Baldcock was able to launch his Motorcycle Fabrication business with his help and the help of the NEA scheme.
Stephen explained, “Having a mentor helps to make sure your heading in the right direction.
“Being in business themselves they have insight into the trials and tribulations you will face yourself, as well as useful advice when needed”.
Graham Marley, chief executive of the LDBG, said “We can’t thank our mentors enough for the time and energy they put into supporting these start-ups, without them we couldn’t do the work with do on the NEA scheme.”
With increasing numbers of people participating in the NEA scheme, along with the Start Up Loans scheme in which a low cost loan is available to give start-up businesses a helping hand as well as access to mentoring, mentors are needed more than ever.
Could you be a mentor?
Get in touch with the Let’s Do Business Group on 0844 415 2272 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
If you would like to find out more information about how LDBG could help you, p visit the website at www.letsdobusinessgroup.co.uk and follow them @ldbgroup.