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Supporting fair and ethical business in partnership with The Co-operative Bank
Business Support for Co-ops – peer mentor handbook

Mentor purpose and role

The role of a mentor is to build sustainable, trusting relationships with mentees (new and developing co-operative enterprises) to assist them with setting up and developing their business and successfully help them to navigate the complex financial, regulatory and organisational hurdles.

We envisage that mentees will see their mentors as a sounding board and business friend.

Mentors will generate problem solving ideas and encourage strategic thinking. From an objective viewpoint, a good mentor offers choices as opposed to directives. They help to spot problems, and support their partner organisation to work through them.

Mentors will not be expected to replace the role of consultants on the mentees projects, such as legal or technical advisors, but will hopefully provide support to enable their mentees to make more efficient use of such advice, and to help choose reliable and experienced people to support their projects.

It is perceived that mentoring activities will be undertaken using a range of interventions to include face to face meetings (one to one or group), telephone discussions and e mail exchanges.