Business Growth Hub, part of The Growth Company, and its Birmingham equivalent have become the first regions in the country to pilot a mentoring initiative developed by Be the Business.
The free pilot programme pairs mentors from some of the UK’s biggest companies – including BAE Systems, Siemens, GSK and Sharing in Growth – with regional business leaders from the manufacturing sector. Over the course of six months, mentors will offer personal expertise, inspiration and practical advice on a one-to-one basis, from decision-making and business planning to talent acquisition and risk management, to help firms become more productive and overcome any potential barriers to economic growth.
Janine Smith, Head of Growth Services, Business Growth Hub said: “Our Greater Manchester mentoring programme has gone from strength to strength in recent years, with both mentees and mentors reporting on the huge benefits that the relationships have made to them – both personally and professionally. Having the opportunity to collaborate with other growth hubs and some of the UK’s biggest businesses to share our mentoring expertise is very exciting. We’re looking forward to seeing the results in September.”
The mentoring project is the brainchild of Be the Business, a new business-led organisation created to close the UK’s productivity gap. Chaired by Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, Be the Business is spearheading a business-led drive to help companies across the UK improve their performance.
Tony Danker, Chief Executive, Be the Business, said: “Mentoring is a fantastic way for some of the UK’s most productive companies to share what works with business owners in Greater Birmingham and GreaterManchester. Improving management skills and learning how to best engage with employees can create huge improvements for businesses, and these are some of the skills the mentors will pass on to companies in the pilot programmes.”
The sessions – which are fully funded – will initially be held face-to-face, and will include mentors from Be The Business and also Hub programmes like Greater Manchester’s Manufacturing Champions. There will be 36 mentors working across Greater Manchester and Greater Birmingham & Solihull, supporting 43 mentees.
Arunima Dhar, Advanced Manufacturing Programme Lead, GSK, said: “Having had the luxury of mentors at GSK, I personally know how valuable their advice can be. I often reach out to my mentors to bounce ideas, learn from their varied experiences. Greater Manchester and the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Growth Hubs have been our partners since the inception of this idea and I am delighted to see the pilot come to fruition. I am sure our mentees and mentors will mutually benefit from this experience.”