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New business mentoring programme launched to help boost local economy

24th September 2021

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An ambitious new mentoring scheme designed to help businesses bounce back from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and boost the local economy is being launched across Three Rivers district.

Under the Mentoring for Growth programme, Three Rivers District Council is offering specialist one-to-one mentoring to local small and medium-sized enterprises and start-up businesses. The three-month scheme is designed to help local businesses thrive following the effects of multiple lockdowns and restrictions. 

The council is working in partnership with business support specialist Smarter Society – which has previously worked with organisations including John Lewis and the NHS – to provide the new mentoring programme.

Cllr Sarah Nelmes, Leader of Three Rivers District Council, said: “We are lucky to have vibrant and diverse business communities across Three Rivers, but like the rest of the country our local economy has been hit by the pandemic. The Mentoring for Growth programme will give businesses innovative, specialist and practical support at this crucial time.

“Over recent weeks we have been unveiling a series of initiatives aimed at listening to and supporting those businesses. We will continue to do that, and all we can, to ensure our local economy can go from strength to strength.” 

The programme will include a business mentoring programme for up to 40 local businesses – tailored to the needs of each of them.

Mentoring for Growth will be open to every business within Three Rivers offering one-to-one mentoring from experienced entrepreneurs. The programme will initially have 40 places which are expected to be taken quickly, so businesses should register immediately. Further places may be released subsequently subject to available funding.

Geoff Baxter, from Smarter Society, said: “We know that one-to-one mentoring is the most requested business support service from local authorities - and can also be the most useful, so we’re glad to support the programme with experienced mentors that have run their own businesses and can provide practical guidance and help, all totally free of charge.”

Shirish Chauhan, Chairman and Director of Three Rivers Chamber of Trade and Commerce, said: “This excellent scheme has the potential to make a significant difference to many local businesses. Many businesses have been through a challenging time recently and getting an expert, external perspective through a mentorship programme can be key to helping entrepreneurs run their business more effectively and to gain more customers. I am delighted that local businesses in Three Rivers will now have an opportunity to apply for and benefit from this valuable mentoring scheme."

For further information and to sign up to the programme visit: https://smartersociety.org/programmes/three-rivers-mentoring/