Dormen joins National Mentoring Pilot

DorMen, the Dorset Business Mentoring programme, has just become one of only three national mentoring pilots supported by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

In 2006 the Government, responding to the views of business, decided to simplify business support and cut the number of publicly funded business support schemes from 3,000 to 30. At that time business mentoring was not identified as one of the services. Since then, the value of the DorMen scheme, amongst others, has helped to persuade the Government that a mentoring service pilot should be established. Regional schemes the North West and East Midlands have also been agreed whilst, in the South West, only the DorMen scheme in Dorset will be involved.

The Dormen programme, which started in 2005 and is hosted by East Dorset District Council and supported by Business Link and every local authority across Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole, has helped well over 500 small businesses improve growth and weather the recession.

Like all effective schemes, the principle is very simple. Owners and managers of young or developing businesses are matched with experienced business people who volunteer their expertise and skills to give something back to their community. Mentors cannot work miracles, but they can help clients to review their operations and plans, and act as a sounding board.

“It is a tremendous boost to receive this recognition. We owe a great debt to the mentors who are so generous with their time and skills” said Cllr Simon Tong, East Dorset District Council’s Lead Member for the Environment. He added “It also only works because of the full support of partners involved in the Multi Area Agreement.”

Vivian Dunn, Dormen’s Programme Manager, said “This is a real feather in Dormen’s cap and great recognition for the time and effort that all our volunteer mentors put in to supporting our clients. It is a great honour to now be able to use the official ‘Solutions for Business‘ logo which will help to raise Dormen’s visibility.”

L – R: Kevin Poulton (EDDC), Cllr Alex Clarke (EDDC), Ken Moon (FSB), Tim Colman (FSB)

Cllr Alex Clarke (EDDC) receiving an award from the Federation of Small Business (Wessex Branch) for the Dormen programme