Jennings Business Mentors celebrated their 10th anniversary back in November. Here’s a piece written by our very own Mike Jennings about the mentoring service…
When I started our mentoring service all those years ago, it was from passion for wanting to give back to the community that had provided (and still does) our basic income - small business owners. I had already served many years as a small business advisor, but sensed the need for something different.
Mentoring is special, in that mentors do not give advice. Mentors are business owners who can empathise with the journey, who stand alongside their clients as equals. Their job is to listen, without judgement and without offering solutions. Over the course of a short one-to-one session, most clients will work out for themselves what they should do next.
Jennings Business Mentors is a part of our brand and going forward we will continue, though on a smaller scale. The cost of delivering the service (covered by Jennings) and changing enquiries mean we will be reducing the service, promoting it only to the Jennings network of small businesses.
I want to thank all past and present mentors, and the four directors, all of whom have offered their valuable time towards this cause. I hope they too have benefitted from the experience. I also want to thank Oxfordshire County Council for their one-off grant to help our marketing of the service. Then I especially want to thank my family, who have allowed me to the take time out, and the team who have helped with developing this service, which remains unique to the UK.