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Support firms through national mentoring scheme, says FSB


A new national mentoring service should be set up to support UK enterprises, a leading business group has said.


In a new report, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) proposes connecting business owners with business mentors as a means of helping start-up and fledgling firms to grow.


Ministers are reportedly considering promoting mentoring by experienced entrepreneurs, although the FSB has warned that such a scheme should be led by business rather than the Government.


As an incentive, mentors should be able to invest in the local companies they support in a way that offsets their capital gains and income tax bills, possibly through a Business Isa.


The lobby group also suggests that businesses should be able to provide constructive online feedback on the quality of the mentoring that they have been given, as seen on the eBay website.  


‘There are already volunteer mentors working in local communities who would value being recognised for their work. Small business management is complex and requires competent advisors who have had experience in running a successful business,’ said the FSB’s National Chairman, John Walker.


He added: ‘We fully believe that supporting business owners will translate into action the skills appropriate for the business they are running. It is very important too that if a start-up is receiving mentoring from an established business that it is recognised by the banks and taken into consideration if approached for a loan or overdraft.’