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National business mentoring scheme should be business-led, says FSB

By: Laura Nineham
15 October 2010

The Federation of Small Businesses has warned that a national mentoring scheme to help new and growing businesses must be business-led and backed by the banking industry, reports The FT Adviser.

The FSB claims that the government spends £10-12bn on business support every year, but only 5 per cent of that is given to micro businesses, despite them making up 95 per cent of all the businesses in the UK.

To start your own business can be an exciting prospect and this news will further provide incentive to take the plunge.  

"Small business management is complex and requires competent advisers who have had experience in running a successful business," said John Walker, national chairman of the FSB. "We fully believe that supporting business owners will translate into action the skills appropriate for the business they are running."

He added: "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."

The claims come as part of the FSB's report titled 'vision for a national mentoring scheme - connecting business owners with business mentors'. They also recommended that banks donate investment into a mentoring scheme, in order to rebuild relationships with banks, and that mentors are given the scope to step away from mentoring and move into discussions that could result in investing in the business.

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