Business Mentoring Scheme information & resources
On this page you will find information and resources about the Digital Greenhouse's Business Mentoring Scheme
This information is for your guidance and the resources are there to use if you wish. Please take the time to read through everything before starting your mentorship.
What to expect from mentoring
'Mentoring' is a term that can mean different things to different people.
One of the most important things, in making the most of a mentoring relationship, is to manage expectations on both sides of the equation. What do you both want to get out of the relationship? It's important to discuss this upfront - and to ensure that you know what are and are not realistic expectations.
- Meet face-to-face or virtually for a minimum of 1 hour each month for 6 months.
- Complete short pre, interim and end-of-scheme feedback surveys.
- Mentors and mentees should agree that any information exchanged during the scheme is confidential unless otherwise stated. There is an example NDA you can download to use if you wish.
- Mentors should not charge mentees for the provision of advice or guidance, or solicit their professional services.
- Mentees should not ask mentors for any investment, loans or support with personal finances.
What the scheme offers:
You should have monthly, hour-long sessions with your mentor (to be arranged by you) and these can be shaped to take whatever form seems to work best for both of you. Please download the resources below if you would like guidance on how to make the most of your mentoring sessions.
We would recommend you discuss the kinds of things you want to get out of your sessions to ensure your expectations are aligned. But, typically, through you mentoring relationship, you can expect to get some or all of the following:
A fresh perspective - Your mentor will offer an independent perspective, which is an invaluable thing to have when starting up a business. While you definitely need to be your own best advocate, and your friends and family will do doubt offer invaluable support and encouragement, you do also need to seek out people who don't know you so well to ensure you get input from people with a more objective view too. Mentors will get to know you over time, so they can act as a fantastic sounding board and source of friendly, yet constructive, feedback.
Guidance - Before embarking on this programme, we will ask you what your biggest business challenges currently are and will try to match you with a mentor who has relevant experience and knowledge to be able to support you. From lessons they've learned and what they've observed through their experiences so far (in work but also life!) they will try to offer guidance on areas you're struggling with. This may leverage their specialist skills and area/s of expertise, or it may be more general.
A friend/ ally - More than anything else, a mentor can be someone to problem solve with, celebrate successes with and generally do many things that you'd do with other people who are on your side. And you just never know, you may end up having an ally for a lot longer than the tenure of the scheme!
What is doesn't offer:
There are a few things that are not within the scope of mentoring on this programme:
- Legally binding advice - Guidance received on this programme comes from your mentor's personal experience and views, and is not legally binding advice. You are free to take or leave the guidance they give you and, accordingly, they and the companies they work for bear no liability for actions taken by you or your company.
- Specialist services - Your mentor may be happy to give you practical support with (for example) pitch decks/ wire-frame builds etc. during your sessions, if this is their area of expertise or interest, but this is down to their own discretion. As a general rule, they are there for discussion and guidance rather than 'doing things' for you.
- Mentor's time outside sessions - You should not expect your mentor to dedicate time to doing things outside your mentoring sessions. It's possible they will want to do this (e.g. send you emails/ thoughts/ links or review something etc), but this will be down to your individual relationship with them and should not be expected as guaranteed.
Before you get started please download this slide deck to help you prepare for your mentoring relationship. In it you will find:
- An example meeting agenda
- Suggested topics for your first meeting
- Mentoring record cards - should you wish to use them
Also available to download below is some example wording for a mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), should you wish to use it.