The Business Growth Hub today launches GREATer Manchester Mentoring - a steering group looking to accelerate business mentoring across the region.

The Hub, which has to date introduced 500 businesses to mentors, launches the initiative on National Mentoring Day.

It seeks to bring together the disparate business mentoring offerings across the region, creating a bank of 600 active volunteer mentors supporting 1,000 individuals by 2020.

The mentoring leaders which made up the inaugural meeting of the steering group were Chris Travis, mentoring relationship manager at Business Growth Hub, Janine Smith, head of growth services at the Hub, Heather Waters, enterprise manager at NatWest E-Spark and Patricia Keating, project lead at Tech Manchester.

READ MORE: Andy Burnham calls for 'reverse mentoring' in tech

Chris Travis

Travis said: “Mentoring exists to help people succeed, whether in business or in life more generally. It can offer mentees the breathing space needed to work on their business or provide an independent perspective, acting as a sounding board for new ideas.

“There is a wealth of mentoring talent and programmes dotted across Greater Manchester, and it makes sense to align the expertise of the different offerings, establishing a clear vision for mentors across Greater Manchester to accelerate the impact that mentoring is having across businesses in the region.

“We welcome any individuals or organisations who would like to get involved to get in touch with the Business Growth Hub, to find out how they can support the initiative.”

The Hub’s mentoring work is having tangible impacts on businesses across Greater Manchester. Trish Travis of Staff Oldham was introduced to mentor Helen Besant-Roberts from Hurst via the Hub’s mentoring programme. Trish says Helen has provided invaluable support:

“I felt my business wasn’t moving forwards, and that I had exhausted the knowledge I had learned from my past 20 years as a business owner.

“I contacted Business Growth Hub to find out how I could get a new perspective; someone that could help me to think of fresh ideas and give confidence.

“The results were instant. Helen’s guidance was like medicine to get us to the next stage – she helps us to understand what we need to do, and to envision the end result. I see Helen as my saviour. I now feel unstoppable.”

Trish Keating

Keating said: “We’re delighted to formalise the relationship with the Business Growth Hub and our friends at NatWest.

“An incredible amount of collaboration has been quietly going on in the background for some time.

“The GREATer Manchester steering group allows us to vocalise it, highlight the powerful impact of mentoring and encourage others to get involved.

 “Ultimately, Tech Manchester’s focus is on developing the digital and tech community in the region. This feeds beautifully into the cross-industry disciplines that BGH and NatWest support.

“Tech Manchester has designed and delivered mentor training to 60 businesspeople across five workshops this autumn alone.

“We hope that, by sharing our knowledge and learning through the GREATer Manchester steering group, we can help improve Manchester’s community overall."

Lawrence Jones

Lawrence Jones MBE, the UKFast CEO who backs the Tech Manchester initiative, said: “It makes perfect sense for these mentoring communities to come together to cement the relationship.

“We’re all working towards the same goal: to make Manchester the number one tech city in the UK and to help our community thrive.

 “Manchester has a proud reputation for collaboration and long may that continue.”

To find out more about becoming a mentor, or accessing the Hub Mentoring Programme, please contact on info@businessgrowthhub.com, or call 0161 359 3050.