The scheme, entitled ‘Business Mentoring’, has been announced during Independent Retailer Month, during which retailers are being urged to promote themselves through sales and events to raise their profile in their local area.
Business Mentoring will allow independent businesses the opportunity to gain advice and support from leading ex-retailers.
Experts will help guide participants in the scheme through all of the key areas of business planning, such as financial management; merchandising and buying; marketing and PR; property acquisition; and multichannel retailing.
Head of the National Skills Academy for Retail Jane Rexworthy said: “The benefits of small business mentoring are difficult to overstate. Each mentor has considerable retail experience and a specialism in everything from management to logistics.
“Whether leading group sessions focusing on certain skill areas or one-to-one sessions with new or struggling businesses, the mentors will strengthen existing owners and help others turn retailing ideas into a reality.”
The scheme aims to contribute towards a recent government initiative to recruit 15,000 mentors in order to ensure an entrepreneurial ethos within small and medium enterprises in the UK.
Peter Wilson, business support officer of Shropshire Council, which was recently involved in the Business Mentoring service, remarked of the scheme: “The service was hugely worthwhile. The mentor brought a fresh pair of eyes and a depth of knowledge which we could never provide, [resulting in] a good response for our businesses.”