Are you a budding entrepreneur or start-up business owner based in the Sheffield City Region? If you are, why not take advantage of a fully funded mentoring programme that will give you the best possible start on your business journey.
Part of the Launchpad offer, the Mentoring programme matches entrepreneurs and business owners which have been trading for less than two years with an experienced business mentor. The fully funded programme can be accessed alongside the support you receive from your Launchpad business advisor or you can choose to work solely with a mentor for now and still access other Launchpad services in the future. Mentoring is an opportunity for you to gain insights and support from an experienced mentor who knows what it is like to start and grow a successful business.
A mentor can provide advice and support whether you are just starting to think about a business idea or are interested in ways to develop and grow your business. The benefits of having a business mentor are many. Irshad Akbar, Business Mentoring Manager at Launchpad, said: “Launching a business can be a daunting time for new entrepreneurs, who often find themselves feeling isolated and unsure where to get the right advice to develop their business ideas”. Launchpad’s mentoring programme provides the opportunity to collaborate, share knowledge and experience and perhaps most importantly of all, learn from individuals who once stood in their shoes.
“The programme follows a tried and tested formula which helps to give new business owners the confidence to grow and develop their ideas, as well as offering a chance to share concerns with someone who has ‘been there, done that’. Our mentors come from many different backgrounds and they share a passion to help others succeed.
Whether you are considering starting your own business, have a business that is experiencing problems, are ready to expand, or need a person who can be used as a sounding board, the Mentoring programme can help.
If you would like to know more about how you can benefit from the Mentoring programme, please download our useful mentor and mentee guides or contact the Mentoring team on:
Telephone 01302 736062 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For details of events click here
Can you provide support and encouragement to a new business? Do you have the skills and experience to guide and challenge entrepreneurs to achieve their full potential? Your contribution will make a huge difference to the quality of the support we offer, and we’re confident you will enjoy the experience.
If you would like to sign up to be a mentor with Launchpad contact us today.
Would you like someone to help you think through your business idea, suggests ways to develop and grow your business and provides the experience and know-how you may need? A mentor will listen carefully to your ideas, ask crucial questions and help you to consider different ideas to achieve your goals.
If you would like support from a mentor contact us today.
Meet some of our Mentors
A passionate, empathetic marketing and communications professional; both highly organized and results driven. An effective campaign leader and an exceptional copywriter used to delivering quality content across multiple platforms. Proficient in the application of the full marketing mix with the enthusiasm and creative drive required to achieve customer engagement targets. A strategic thinker, skilled communicator and a natural negotiator, who applies a common-sense approach to the delivery of all project briefs; to budget, on time and in-line with core company objectives. All provided with friendliness, relish and a keen interest in raising profile to improve the customer experience.
A keen amateur photographer and a huge fan of Instagram, there are many ways I can support a business with their marketing and communications needs from press/broadcast releases, business planning, project managing, supporting the development of a social media strategy, print, online comms, general promotional marketing collateral and all elements of general strategic business engagement – all are my specialty and area of interest. I have been a mentor before and it was surprising to me how useful I was (!). People are brilliant with their own business ideas – people generally require a helping hand in getting off the ground to shout about themselves – developing others confidence in comms & marketing strategy and performance is something that I am very interested in – plus I am a real people person so meeting with business start-ups or SMEs face to face helps me to get the most out of the business seeking support in my area of expertise.
Having worked in public sector in the not-for- profit side for many years, I like to give back. But I have a good business mind too and I’m quick to grasp what businesses need from me to get them to the successful place they want to be.
I am a solicitor with over 20 years’ experience. I work with local companies and our firm provides services covering dispute, resolution, property, commercial agreements, corporate land and property issues. I also chair a LEP group and am well versed in the Sheffield City Region (SCR) LEP support offering.
I am keen to drive growth in the SCR and new and emerging companies are key to that. Any support I can give to that benefits us all ultimately. I will be the primary contact, but others in the firm will be engaged as required based on the specifics and sector of any mentoring request.
As a Business Growth and Marketing Expert Jack helps companies and local entrepreneurs grow their business utilising proven and tested business and marketing strategies.
With over 10 years’ experience in business he has positively impacted on 1000 small and medium sized businesses with his training, consulting, international speaking and advice. An active entrepreneur and business owner, Jack has worked with Universal Music and owned a Digital Music Distribution Business. He was involved in marketing campaigns for concerns such as Western Union, Mercedes, Ruuki, Hewlett Packard and numerous other well-known brands.
He shares his experience, business and marketing knowledge with entrepreneurs as he believes every business owner deserves the right to learn the best proven and tested business growth
strategies. He never experiments with his clients’ budgets and is passionate about his clients’ results.
It is no coincidence that they call him a “friend” of their business.
Jack is also an owner of Brackets (A Modern Digital Agency) and a founder of SME Business Academy
– Community of Experts for Small Businesses.
A successful strategic marketeer and professionally qualified member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, I have over 20 years of management experience across a broad range of sectors,
including: grocery retail, publishing, the toy market, car dealerships and the pet industry. I have extensive experience in a wide spectrum of marketing skills that encompasses product launches,
communications, media planning, PR, copy writing, event management, creative ideas and marketing planning. As a Marketing Consultant, I provide marketing services for small businesses
that don’t have their own marketing department, but need the occasional skills of a marketing professional.
I am also an Accredited Practitioner Mentor and member of the Association of Business Mentors.
Prior to starting my first business, I was IT Support Manager for an international organisation in Sheffield. I started my first business in 2015 and have since worked with over 250 small and medium business customers on their technical strategy and digital marketing. I held the position of Chair of the Women in Business Group at Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber for 3 years and have been a member of their Representative Council for several years.
As Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computing at Sheffield Hallam University, I taught on the Business and Enterprise Programme and have also taught Computing as an Associate Lecturer at the University of Sheffield. I also worked as a Business Advisor at SHU assisting students who are starting their own businesses and was a judge for three years of the annual Enterprise Challenge competition.
Over the years, I have benefitted from the advice and guidance of a number of Mentors and I still turn to some of the ones from the early years for help to this day. I understand the value that having access to mentors offers to small businesses and with that in mind, I see activities like this as an opportunity to give back and provide the same support to others.
For the past thirteen years, I have undertaken marketing/business/creativity projects and consultancy for clients in B2B sectors. More recently I have started to work in B2C markets. Prior to establishing Bluejohn, I was Marketing Director for CAN Ltd, a Chesterfield-based specialist contractor. My claim to fame was winning the contract to install the roof on the Millennium Dome. I also have experience in international business. Core skills include:
• Marketing, including strategic marketing, research, promotions, events, and communications
• Business development projects, including launching new products and services
• Working with clients to compile and write business documents including business plans, tender/bid documents, investment plans and more
• Creativity/creative thinking for innovation and problem solving – developing a broader, deeper and richer seam of ideas in response to business challenges and then selecting the best and rapidly
I have a 37-year banking career prior to leaving to work as a business and finance consultant. I spent the last 12 years of my banking career in Commercial Banking working closely as a relationship
manager with SMEs running a wide range of different types of business.
I have a specialism in finance with a deep understanding of financial accounts/cashflow/business plans as well as funding sources structures. I have achieved a Chartered Banker Diploma in Lending
(syllabus requires all-around business knowledge as well as lending). This is the latest of many professional certificates held.
I also have a very good understanding of business structures and operations and I have helped business owners with a broad range of requirements: eg finding and arranging finance/understanding what grant options are available/ preparing cash flow forecasts/ supporting owners source appropriate bank account and actioning paperwork/ advising on appropriate policies and procedures needed in their business.
In addition to my specialism in finance, my general business knowledge is very good and I know what businesses need so the correct expertise is brought in when appropriate. I have a broad business network which I can use to bring in a wide range of services for clients if needed. I have a particular interest in fraud and cybercrime and have good knowledge of the issues and what businesses can do to protect themselves. I am passionate about helping businesses succeed and support the local economy. I would like to give something back and help others achieve their dreams.
Michael Wilkinson is the Deputy Managing Director of educational technology experts, Frog Education, having joined the company in 2014.
His passion for educational technology began when working for a local authority as an e-learning manager. Having seen first-hand how technology could radically improve teaching and learning, Michael founded the pioneering games based learning company ‘I am learning’ in 2007, which he ran until 2014 when the company was acquired by Frog Education. In the 7 years of I am learning’s growth, the company provided engaging learning and assessment to over 12,000 schools worldwide, in part owing to the close partnership developed with Frog.
It was inevitable that Michael would join Frog Education to continue to persue his passion for transforming education through technology, the very ethos of Frog. Today Frog is delivering outstanding education through awesome technology for over 12 million users worldwide.
By profession, I am an industrial chemist. I started the Blue Moon Café in 1994. I have experience in all aspects of setting up and running a café, especially the vegetarian/vegan/wholefoods area. I want to return the favour and had a lot of help at start-up.
Sandra has been a mentor since the programme first started. In addition to one to one support, Sandra has delivered many website marketing courses to mentees and continues to offer mentoring support with regards to websites, online marketing and related topics around marketing and branding.
Previous to starting her own business in 2007, Sandra was Enterprise Director for Sheffield Chamber of Commerce where she headed up Sheffield Enterprise Agency (SENTA) which delivered a range of start-up funding programmes across Sheffield and the Yorkshire and Humber region. Prior to that, Sandra was Business Start-Up manager at Doncaster Chamber of Commerce, where she first started as a Business Advisor. Sandra is also qualified (PTLLS) to deliver training and holds NVQ Level 3 in Advice & Guidance.
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