On Monday 15th Jill Taiaroa from the Canterbury Development Corporation came and spoke to our Halswell business network. Jill has been involved with business mentoring since It started in 1991 and gave us a useful overview of the service. She gave us a brief history and outline of the business mentoring services which was started in 1991 and has been very successful in helping many businesses right across New Zealand.
The service is available to small businesses in Canterbury. Businesses pay a $150 + GST registration fee which provides access for to free business mentoring for two years. This is possible because business mentors work completely voluntarily. They are usually retired businesspeople that come from a range of backgrounds who make themselves available to the business mentoring service. They are people who step forward to pass on some of the things that they have learned working in their own businesses. They provide a CV and are checked by the teams of people who administrate the service around the country.
Jill and her small team at CDC field enquiries, find out what a business most needs and then matches them with a mentor according to their needs. Over the two years some businesses may have a few different mentors who can each help them with different aspects of their business.
You can find out more at http://www.businessmentors.org.nz/ and you can also apply for mentoring from that website.
Jill’s talk elicited many questions and quite a bit of discussion amongst the businesspeople that attended that went on for some time after she left. Overall it was a pleasant meeting – thanks to Kate for providing food and drink and to all who helped make this meeting happen. Thanks also to Jill for coming to speak.
Any others who were there - please add something that you found very useful or interesting from the meeting in the comments below (it might also be useful and interesting to other business people who could not make it to the meeting)