“The programme will give business owners the opportunity to gain insight and support from business leaders with years of senior-level experience in a number of fields, who will be on hand to discuss and work through business challenges,” adds Baker. “The mentoring experience will be tailored to the individual – whether that is help developing leadership and management skills, assisting with strategy and business planning or boosting confidence and motivation for change.”
To take part in the programme, you need to:
- already run your own business
- identify as a woman
- live or run your business in the Leeds City Region or the West England Combined Authority Area
Once your application has been accepted, you then select a mentor based on the skills and experiences which best suit their needs. To get the most out of the programme, applicants are encouraged to catch up with their mentors weekly (through calls or online meetings) during the 12-week scheme.
For SME owners who don’t have access to a team of advisers or an active board of directors to advise on next steps for the business, it is invaluable to have an experienced, independent mentor to give an impartial opinion, test ideas with or provide advice. “Equally, some mentees want a mentor with a very specific skill set to help them in a particular area – for example, developing a new marketing strategy, or developing a new product or service,” says Sunderland. “In these cases, the mentor and mentee will spend the 12-week period working on the specific topic or business challenge.
“As well as NatWest, we work with companies like Amazon, BAE Systems, Facebook, GSK, KPMG, Moneypenny, and Siemens, to identify some of their most talented and experienced executives to join the programme as mentors,” adds Sunderland. “These are seriously talented people who want to give something back and help a small business on to the next stage of growth.”
If gaining insight and a fresh perspective on business challenges from a mentor sounds like it could help you, register for our webinar on 27 October to find out more about the Be The Business Rose Review Female Entrepreneurs Mentoring Programme.