Over the past year over 80 Business Mentors have contributed 750 hours of their time to help young entrepreneurs across the county to develop their business skills and initiatives. With 24 new Mentors trained during 2014 Kent Foundation is well placed to provide the valuable help and guidance that is needed to turn ideas into successful business propositions. As well as offering direct personal 1-2-1 support to 37 young people through a minimum commitment of one hour a month, Mentors have also organised, delivered and raised funding for a range of business support programmes.
Other volunteers have helped with social media, events management and promotional activities.
Kent Foundation Chairman, Allan Mowatt said: ‘Sharing experience and giving tangible support is key to giving young people the confidence and skills to reach their potential. Our Mentors do a fantastic job but equally important are the young people who have volunteered their time to support us. This has included work experience opportunities, placements in the office, event organisation of the Sandwich Enterprise Initiative and our annual event A Blast! Helping promote entrepreneurship has been supported by young people especially in Thanet.’
‘We also had a first this year in that two young business people volunteered their time as Business Mentors and successfully completed their training in September. Their motivation comes from recognising the key part played by their business mentor when they started their own business.’
Bryan Hall a trained Kent Foundation Mentor said:
“Get on a training course as soon as possible because you’ll benefit from it either through the satisfaction of helping, or with your own business”
The benefits of mentoring are summed up by young entrepreneur Kudzi from Kudz Footwear:
“I definitely recommend it to anyone just starting out. Before I started it was just a hobby, the mentoring helped me narrow everything down to what I needed to be successful”
Allan Mowatt added: ‘The Kent Foundation is successful because many different people, do many different things over many, many hours each year. This year has been an exceptional year, with more people doing more. They all deserve our thanks for supporting the present and future Kent economy by helping young people start up their businesses.’