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Volunteer business mentor

Volunteer as a business start-up mentor for new enterprise allowance customers.

Volunteer Business Start Up Mentor Case Studies


Lee Durschner, Shaw trust Business Mentor Volunteer

“I am a Business Mentor Volunteer”

Lee Dürschner,  38, Human Resources Professional (Self-employed)
 
“Stop thinking and start doing.”
 

What made you want to become a Business Mentor Volunteer?

I’ve reached a point in my life where I have some time to spare, and a point in my professional journey where I have experience that I would like share. I also wanted to use this as an opportunity to continue to develop my coaching and mentoring skills.
 

What experience have you brought to the role?

I have worked in a number of industries across both the public and private sector and have gained experience in all of my roles.

My background in Human Resources equips me to provide insight to entrepreneurs looking to grow their business, develop strategies, consider what sort of Leader they want to be and coach more widely for success.
 

How much time have you committed to this role?
I have committed to 5 hours per week.


What is the most important thing you have learned on your own journey as an entrepreneur, business owner, being self-employed? (if applicable)

Don’t underestimate the value of your network; as a self-employed contractor, it’s a significant source of your opportunities. I used to be one of those people who rolled their eyes when someone said that they were ‘networking’, as it gave me the mental image of someone ‘working a room’, handing out business cards like they were sweets and talking to anyone who dared to establish eye contact with them. In reality, ‘networking’ takes a number of forms, and in my opinion, it’s simply about engaging with people and creating a connection.
 

What would be your one piece of advice to someone looking to set up their own business? 

Be comfortable talking about you and your business; particularly if you’re a contractor and need to talk about day rates. Do your research, know your worth, be realistic and be prepared to be flexible, but never undersell yourself.
 

Looking back, what piece of advice do you wish someone had given you?

When it comes to selling your service, be client-centred; seek first to understand. Understand your client’s issue and the reason they’re looking for external support, and then tell them how you can help.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced in setting up your business of becoming self-employed? (if applicable)
Landing my first contract. Reference-ability and being able to demonstrate that you can successfully work as a contractor when you’re new in the space has been a challenge.

What would you say to anyone thinking of becoming a Business Mentor?
Stop thinking and start doing.

To find out more about opportunities to mentor clients in Bedfordshire, Kent, London, Hertfordshire and Essex, visit the Shaw Trust's listing on the Do It website do-it.org (opens in new tab or window)

 

 
Chris Langton Shaw Trust Business Mentor Volunteer

“I am a Business Mentor Volunteer”

 
Chris Langton, 61, Project Manager (Retired)
 
“I am now retired and wanted an opportunity to "give something back"
“You will get a great sense of achievement by helping others to succeed - and you'll also learn more about yourself !”


What made you want to become a Business Mentor?

I am now retired and wanted an opportunity to "give something back" using the skills & experience I had learned in my career


What experience have you brought to the role?

Having recruited, trained & coached many employees over the year, having run large departments and a subsidiary business, from both financial, HR and leadership standpoints, I have a lot of experience to offer.
What has your time commitment been? How many hours/ days?
I currently commit to 1 day a week


What is the most important thing you have learned on your own journey as an entrepreneur, business owner, being self-employed? (if applicable)

Set a strategy up front and then agree challenging targets, then manage the team appropriately to achieve them.


What would be your one piece of advice to someone looking to set up their own business?
Never promise to customers beyond what you can reliably deliver.


Looking back, what piece of advice do you wish someone had given you?

Delegate well, by recruiting well and then allowing people to prove themselves - don't take it all on yourself.


What is the biggest challenge you have faced in setting up your business of becoming self-employed? (if applicable)

Making people redundant.


What would you say to anyone thinking of becoming a Business Mentor?

You will get a great sense of achievement by helping others to succeed - and you'll also learn more about yourself !

To find out more about opportunities to mentor clients in Bedfordshire, Kent, London, Hertfordshire and Essex, visit the Shaw Trust's listing on the Do It website do-it.org (opens in new tab or window)




Sandra Rigobert, Shaw Trust Business Mentor Volunteer

“I am a Business Mentor Volunteer”
 
Sandra Rigobert, 50, Secondary School Teacher, SEN mentor, coach and community workshop facilitator.  
 
“I have a real passion for supporting others and helping them as I was helped.”
 

What made you want to become a Business Mentor Volunteer?
 
I have a real passion for supporting others and helping them as I was helped and also can advise other organisations to use the services and buy the products of local small businesses.
 

What experience have you brought to the role?
 
I have run a small business speaking and running workshops/groups for professional organisations and individuals.  
 
Recently much of my work has been in relation to running workshops around diversity in education and local services for people classed as special needs.  
 
I have worked and run a business in a number of industries.  Because of this, I have a good overall standing of business and work situations, especially in relation to young people and adults with Special Needs.  
 

How much time have you committed to this role?

I have been available 1 day a week for a few hours.


What is the most important thing you have learned on your own journey as an entrepreneur, business owner, being self-employed? (if applicable)

Determination, resilience, and innovation have been some of the most important skill I have learned and developed, as well as networking and collaborating with others. 


What would be your one piece of advice to someone looking to set up their own business?

Get as much advice and training as you can handle.  


Looking back, what piece of advice do you wish someone had given you?

Forward planning and getting support are my weak areas.  Don't try and do it all yourself.
Sustainability and diversification are so important.


What would you say to anyone thinking of becoming a Business Mentor?

That they will not only be sharing their knowledge they will also be able to learn from others.  
 

To find out more about opportunities to mentor clients in Bedfordshire, Kent, London, Hertfordshire and Essex, visit the Shaw Trust's listing on the Do It website do-it.org (opens in new tab or window)