What is peer mentoring?

Apply for our peer mentoring scheme, and get matched with an experienced mentor who has 'been there and done it'.

Our peer mentors (see a list below) have been through the process of setting up a co-operative or community business and will be able to give you moral support, help with ideas-generation and act as a sounding board. Peer mentor support is available for co-ops and community businesses at various stages of development, from business planning to setting up as a co-op.

Please note: Successful applicants will be asked to pay a fee of £100 – £75 for Co-operatives UK members (inc. VAT), who receive a 25% discount on all support packages. Find out about Co-operatives UK membership.

Next steps

  • Watch a short video introducing peer mentoring and read more information below
  • Read case studies of groups and co-operatives who have successfully applied for a peer mentor through The Hive
  • Take the Next step in applying for support from The Hive

Please note: Successful applicants will be asked to pay a fee of £100 – £75 for Co-operatives UK members (inc. VAT), who receive a 25% discount on all support packages. Find out about Co-operatives UK membership.

Peer mentoring in detail

Activity

Format

2016 Timing / delivery

Costs

Peer mentoring

3 days mentoring support (4 days for community energy). The content of support is agreed between you and your peer mentor.

Next step

The Hive is open to applications all year round with applications reviewed at monthly panel assessment meetings. We aim to notify applicants of the outcome within two weeks of a monthly panel meeting, which means that the maximum amount of time you will have to wait for a decision following submission is eight weeks.

£100; or £75 for CUK members

How do peer mentors help?

Our mentors are viewed as a sounding board and business friend. They help to generate problem solving ideas and encourage strategic thinking. A good mentor offers choices as opposed to directives. They help to spot problems, not sort them; our mentors will empathise and not judge. 

Mentoring activities are likely to be undertaken using a range of interventions, including face to face meetings (one to one or group), telephone calls, and email exchanges.

About peer mentoring – more information

Our peer mentors will:

  • Engage with mentees to agree how mentoring could support their prospective enterprise.
  • Agree a programme of mentoring activity which best meets the mentee's needs.
  • Encourage their mentee to express and discuss their ideas, concerns and understanding of the challenges facing them.
  • Help mentees to review their progress and set realistic and practical targets to realise their goals.
  • Help mentees to reflect on, and learn from, things that did not turn out as expected.
  • Refer mentees to other sources of information, advice or further support when appropriate.
  • Encourage mentees to take responsibility for their own decisions, plans and actions.
  • Present a positive image of enterprise mentoring and follow the code of practice.
  • Keep up to date and accurate records of mentee contact, in line with Co‑operatives UK's requirements.

A mentor will listen, act as a sounding-board, provide inspiration, draw on their own experience and help prevent mistakes being made. Mentors can share their experience, offer suggestions and help the mentee group to reflect. They will encourage and support the group to make the most of its potential.

We don't expect our mentors to provide specific business advice or technical support which the group will rely on. For more detailed one to one advice and support with registering your co-operative, see our one to one support package and our preferred support providers.

Next step

Who are our peer mentors?

Mentor organisation

Industry sector

Regional coverage

Type of support

Alpha Communication Digital, creative and media Nationally Start-ups; Community Shares
Brighton Energy Community energy generation; Environment, sustainability; Digital, creative and media London; South East Start-ups; Community Shares; Community Energy
Cafe Kino Community retail, wholesale; Tourism, arts and heritage; Food and farming, CSA South West Start-ups
Calverts Digital, creative and media Nationally; London The co-operative option; Start-ups
Community Broadband Network (CBN) Digital, creative and media Nationally The co-operative option; Start-ups
Earthworm Housing Co-operative Housing; Environment, sustainability; Food and farming, CSA; Employment, training and education North West; West Midlands; Wales The co-operative option; Start-ups
Grand Union Community Energy Community energy generation; Environment, sustainability East of England The co-operative option; Start-ups; Community Shares; Community Energy
Green Fox Community Energy Co-operative Community energy generation; Environment, sustainability Nationally; East Midlands Community Shares; Community Energy
MORE Renewables Community energy generation North West Start-ups; Community Shares; Community Energy
North West Housing Services Housing North East; North West; Yorkshire and Humberside; West Midlands; Wales; Northern Ireland The co-operative option; Start-ups
Northern Ireland Community Energy (NICE) Community energy generation Northern Ireland Start-ups; Community Shares; Community Energy
Operation Farm Community energy generation; Environment, sustainability; Food and farming, CSA North West The co-operative option; Start-ups; Community Energy
OrganicLea Environment, sustainability; Food and farming, CSA; Employment, training and education London The co-operative option; Start-ups
Plymouth Energy Community  Community energy generation South West The co-operative option; Start-ups; Community Shares; Community Energy
Regather Co-operative Environment, sustainability; Pubs and brewing; Tourism, arts and heritage; Food and farming, CSA; Employment, training and education Yorkshire and Humberside The co-operative option; Start-ups
Social Enterprise and Co-operative Development (SECOD) Environment, sustainability; Food and farming, CSA North East; North West; Scotland The co-operative option; Start-ups
South East London Community Energy Community energy generation; Environment, sustainability London The co-operative option; Community Shares; Community Energy
Southern Staffordshire Community Energy Community energy generation; Environment, sustainability West Midlands Community Energy
Suma Foods Community retail, wholesale Nationally; Yorkshire and Humberside The co-operative option; Start-ups
Tamar Grow Local CIC Food and farming, CSA South West The co-operative option; Start-ups
The Anglers Rest Pubs and brewing; Community retail, wholesale; Tourism, arts and heritage East Midlands Start-ups; Community Shares
The Fox and Hounds (Denmead) Co-operative Pub Pubs and brewing South East The co-operative option; Start-ups; Community Shares
The Kitchen on Great Moor Street Food and farming, CSA North West The co-operative option; Start-ups
The New Leaf Co-op Community retail, wholesale Scotland The co-operative option; Start-ups
Unicorn Grocery Community retail, wholesale North West The co-operative option; Start-ups
Village Greens Community Co-op Community retail, wholesale North West The co-operative option; Start-ups; Community Shares
Voluntary Action Harrow Employment, training and education London The co-operative option; Start-ups
West Highland Free Press Digital, creative and media Scotland The co-operative option

Hear from some of the groups and co-operatives who have already received expert advice and peer mentoring through The Hive. Read our case studies…

Updated: 21/11/2017