I’ve just received my certificate from SFEDI, the UK Sector Skills Body for Enterprise. The first certificate I’ve had in many years. Many thousands of others have now received their own as well, having successfully completed ‘An Introduction to Enterprise Mentoring’ as part of the mentoring scheme promoted by government and supported by industry.

I signed up for the scheme through ‘Get Mentoring’, which is ‘an initiative to unlock, train and support a community of enterprise mentors across the UK. The aim is to recruit and train thousands of mentors from the micro, small and medium-sized business community’.

During my training, I met with a number of others who feel the same way. Their backgrounds and specialisms were very different to mine, but they all wanted to contribute, through mentoring other business owners and managers, too. The excellent half-day training I attended was run by John Sunderland-Wright of the NFE Group – he’s a facilitator and mentor, as well as a successful entrepreneur himself.

The service doesn’t stop with training. The ‘MentorsMe’ web portal offers to connect companies with mentoring organisations that can support and guide their growth. If you are a business that needs support or a business professional who can offer support, they can help you connect with each other. Both voluntary and commercial mentoring support is offered.

With David Cameron telling would-be entrepreneurs “now is the time” to launch their business to get Britain back on its feet economically, there is a growing need for the type of support that mentors can provide to guide people through the start-up and growth process. While not a panacea, mentoring can provide the fledgling business with the help it needs to keep focused, energised and striving to succeed.

So, you’re an experienced business owner or manager. Can you help someone else achieve their business goals? If you think you can, then have a look at these schemes.