The National Skills Academy for Retail has partnered with Grey4Gold, a professional business skills matching service, to launch a new Business Mentoring scheme for independent retailers and town centres across the UK.
Business Mentoring provides a cost-effective way to help independent retailers grow their businesses and support start-ups in their first, and most vulnerable, year of trading.
Much like a consultancy service but without the heavy price tag, retailers and town centre managers will be able to gain access to a team of experts, selected by the National Skills Academy for Retail (NSA for Retail) and Grey4Gold.
Mentors are all leading ex-retailers that can provide support and guidance on core retail areas such as business planning, financial management, merchandising and buying, marketing and PR, property acquisition and multi-channel retailing.
Jane Rexworthy, head of the NSA for Retail, said: “The benefits of business mentoring are difficult to overstate. Each mentor has considerable retail experience and a specialism in everything from management to logistics.
“Whether leading group sessions focusing on certain skill areas or one-to-one sessions with new or struggling businesses, the mentors will strengthen existing owners and help others turn retailing ideas into reality.”
Peter Wilson, business support officer at Shropshire Council, recently used the Business Mentoring service to support local retailers and future entrepreneurs. He said: “The service was hugely worthwhile. The mentor brought a fresh pair of eyes and a depth of knowledge which we could never provide – we have had such a good response from our businesses.”
The scheme comes a day after the Independents’ Day 2012, designed by Skillsmart Retail and the NSA for Retail to draw attention to the value and diversity of independent retailers, raising awareness of the contribution they make to UK high streets and local communities.
Crucial in any independent business is having the skills to be the best they can be and mentors provide a unique insight and long-term benefits. The Business Mentoring service also contributes to the targets set out by a recent government initiative to recruit 15,000 business mentors to boost entrepreneurial spirit and SMEs in the UK.
Source: Skillsmart Retail