Small business owners looking tap into a wealth of local knowledge are encouraged to apply for the first year of the Mid-Western Mentoring program, commencing in February 2021.
The nine-month leadership development program aims to link owners of fledgling small businesses - or those wanting to up-skill a staff member - with key leaders within the local small business community.
It's framed by five business sessions delivered by local experts on; business strategy; marketing; finance; HR; and legal for small business. Along with three "fireside chats" with established business leaders - Hugh Bateman, Rusty Russell, Peter Logan and Leigh Sargent - on the trials and tribulations of owning a business in the region, chosen from core local industries real estate, mining, and hospitality.
All mentors and mentees get an hour per month one-on-one time. Ten mentors have signed on for the program and now the applications are open for mentees.
Mid-Western Mentoring Ltd founder and program manager Pearl Daly-Swords - who will also work with the participants - has a background in HR and L&D and is certified in Coaching with Neuroscience and PRISM brain mapping. She said while on the hunt for mentors the response was positive.
"Most people I've gone to about being a mentor have jumped at the opportunity and they're really interested in being on-board," she said.
"One person actually said 'I wish I could've been a mentee on the program' and that this is just what the region needs. It's just an opportunity to take your business down a path that you maybe hadn't considered.
"And it's a chance to network with like-minded business owners and leaders."
The program is not-for-profit, with the $750p/p for mentees - and the sponsorship opportunities available - required to cover costs. Pearl said over the 37 weeks "it's the price of a cup of coffee Monday to Friday" and it's also "skin in the game" incentive to make the most of the opportunity.
And added that being the inaugural year, everything is a trial for beyond 2021.
"This is the pilot program, so we'll be collecting the feedback and look to improve it for the following year in 2022," she said.
"It won't be a case of first come first served, it will be based on who's going to be best matched with the mentors that we have. And we'll see if we're getting a lot of people interested from a specific area, we'll target mentors in that area for the following year.
"It's a not-for-profit business, we're looking to break even obviously and if we were to get any additional sponsorship it would be plugged into the next year's program."
- Applications close at the end of December, visit mwmentoring.com.au/
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