Business and Public Sector: Training

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered at on 14 December 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Mone Baroness Mone Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to increase (1) support for mentoring services and (2) the number of businesses and public sector organisations participating in mentoring programs.

Photo of Lord Callanan Lord Callanan Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

We aim to make the UK the best place to start, grow and run a business. The Government provides a wide range of support and information for small businesses. The main source of information is the GOV.UK website, with support also available via the Business Support Helpline on FREEPHONE 0800 998 1098 and via the network of 38 local Growth Hubs in England.

We also provide grant funding to Be the Business, a business-led independent charity. Be the Business is delivering executive leadership and management training, expert mentoring, place-based collaborative peer networks and free online advice and benchmarking tools, including around digitalisation, to help SMEs identify practical steps to transform their business.

For those starting a new business or for businesses which have been trading for up to 24 months, the Start Up Loans Company provides loans of between £500 to £25,000 at a competitive rate of 6%. In addition to finance, every loan recipient is offered a dedicated mentoring service and access to a free expert business mentor for 12 months to help them with every aspect of setting up a business.

There are 2,000 places available on the Small Business Leadership Programme which is being delivered by experts from university business schools and will teach participants how to maximise their business’s potential by improving productivity, organisation, and efficiency. There are also 6,000 places on the Peer Networks programme which is focused on helping business owners improve their problem-solving skills through a series of guided exercises.

Further measures include the Young Innovators Programme, launched by Innovate UK and the Prince’s Trust to support young entrepreneurs with tailored mentoring and access to £5,000 funding. Innovate UK have also established the Women in Innovation awards, where 10 female inventors will be awarded with a cash boost of £50,000 each, as well as receive vital business support to help them develop and grow their business, including coaching and mentoring.

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