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Network of mentors launched to help SMEs

A national network of 27,000 business mentors aimed at supporting start-ups and growing businesses has been launched by business minister Michael Fallon.

Businesses will able to access one-to-one support through the network. This includes 15,000 new volunteer mentors who have joined the 12,000 mentors already available through 115 different organisations.

The mentor recruitment drive is part of the £1.9 million Get Mentoring project which, over the coming months, will hold 'meet the mentor' events to connect businesses with the help and advice they need. The volunteers have pledged to offer the equivalent of an hour a month of mentoring for two years.

The project will connect businesses that are facing particular challenges, such as a period of rapid growth or difficulty raising finance, with a mentor who could help support them through their challenge and on to the next stage of development.

Business minister Michael Fallon said: "We have invested in mentoring because we know that good mentors can provide the practical advice and support that an entrepreneur needs to take their business idea to the next level. They have been there and done it and can pass that experience on."

More information and access to the mentors is available through mentorsme.co.uk, the national mentoring portal owned and operated by the British Bankers' Association.

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