How can a programme to mentor small businesses help develop your company’s top talent?

It’s never been more important to develop the talent in your organisation. Many of the UK’s most successful companies are turning to Be the Business’s Mentoring for Growth programme to nurture their high-potential executives, while helping SMEs thrive

With remote working and dispersed teams becoming the norm, it has never been more important to cultivate and develop the top talent within your organisation. Team members may feel more disconnected from their colleagues and the organisation's mission. Added to this, many of the traditional means of engaging top talent and team building are no longer viable. It can be challenging to motivate and engage your most promising employees in a way that is meaningful and helps them to develop their skills. 

Many of the UK’s most successful companies are turning to Be the Business and its Mentoring for Growth programme as a way to not only help the UK small business community thrive throughout the pandemic, but to nurture and develop their high potential executives. 

The Mentoring for Growth programme matches experienced executives from some of the UK’s leading companies with ambitious small business owners to help them to grow and build their business. 

The programme is delivered in either a short, sharp 12-week programme focusing on a specific business challenge, or a 12-month format focusing on longer-term business strategy. Support is available to both the mentors and mentees throughout the programme. The executives also join a national network of Be the Business mentors who receive access to insight and upskilling activities. 

Some of the UK’s top companies have joined the programme, including Amazon, BAE, GSK, Facebook, Lloyds, Rolls Royce and Siemens, providing over 300 talented volunteer mentors. 

One such mentor is Sachin Jogia, general manager of Alexa Smart Homes at Amazon, who is mentored by Doug Gurr, Amazon UK’s country manager. “I’d asked Doug what I could do to give back, and this scheme provides an opportunity for us to scale out what we do here for the benefit of the broader community,” he says. 

The experience has also been beneficial to Jogia himself: “It made me realise how transferable tools, techniques and ways of thinking at Amazon are,” he says. “It has shown me that it is possible to go into something you have no context for – I knew nothing about my mentee’s industry – and have a tangible impact.” 

The experience also inspired him to take on his first non-executive role – chair of the technology advisory group at the British Heart Foundation. “Mentoring is time well invested” he says, “As well as supporting small businesses it helps to nurture leaders – both mentors and mentees.” 

Find out more about Be the Business's Mentoring for Growth programme.