SCCUL Enterprises has announced the regional rollout of ‘Bizmentors’, its free business mentoring programme, to counties Galway, Mayo and Roscommon. Part funded by Enterprise Ireland under the Action Plan for Jobs West Region 2015-2017, the initiative aims to support over 1,000 entrepreneurs and businesses in the West of Ireland next year.
Formerly known as SCCUL Mentors, Bizmentors was developed in response to feedback received from participants from the SCCUL Enterprise Awards and has been piloted in Galway City and County since 2012.
To date the programme has received over 500 applications for mentoring from local businesses in Galway city and County and has provided over 3,000 hours of free mentoring support. A total of 111 mentors, drawn from the Galway’s business community, provide their expertise free of charge to businesses.
The regional roll out to counties Galway, Mayo and Roscommon will commence in January 2017 with a view to a national roll out in 2018. Businesses seeking support will apply online and following an application review are matched with a mentor who will provide up to 3 free mentoring sessions in a three month period.
Announcing the programme expansion, Colman Collins, Chairman Bizmentors Advisory board said, “Bizmentors has provided much needed access for local companies to experienced business expertise and wisdom. Over the past four years, it has been evident to us that this service is needed across the country. We are delighted that Department of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation has recognised this and has provided funding through Enterprise Ireland to support the rollout of regional pilot in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon.”
Barry Egan, Director West Region Enterprise Ireland, said, “The provision of mentoring and management development programmes to companies nationally is a key action item in the Action Plans for Jobs which aims to deliver 50,000 new jobs nationally. The rollout of Bizmentors to counties Galway, Mayo and Roscommon will support Irish businesses based in the west to start, innovate and scale in order to build an indigenous engine of growth for the Irish economy and develop a sustainable economy based on enterprise, exports and innovation. ”
Dr. Johanna Clancy, Chairperson of SCCUL Enterprises said, “The regional rollout of Bizmentors is a chance for SME owners in the West of Ireland to access expertise, guidance and business advice through our panel of experienced mentors.
“Small businesses in Ireland are important contributors to the future prosperity of the Irish economy. Their survival and growth not only brings investment returns for individual businesses, it also underpins the wider local community and the image of Ireland as a provider of high quality, innovative and sustainable business excellence.“
Businesses interested in accessing free mentoring support can apply online at www.bizmentors.ie. Business leaders wishing to provide mentoring services can also apply online www.bizmentors.ie