Wanted: Business Buddies
Published on 4 February 2019
Local business people are being encouraged to play their part in supporting new starts.
Next week’s Coca-Cola 5by20 Mentor and Business Community Support Evening hopes to attract new mentors onto the award-winning Coca-Cola 5by20 Dundee programme.
Launched in 2010, Coca-Cola 5by20 is a global initiative with one purpose – to enable the economic empowerment of five million women by 2020. Run in over 60 countries around the world, Dundee is the only city in Western Europe to host the programme.
In less than two years, the programme has supported 110 women, 63 of whom have launched their own business and 29 of whom continue to grow their business. Furthermore, 44 new jobs have been created, alongside over 30 volunteer opportunities. There are currently 30 mentors, male and female, including entrepreneurs, consultants, academics and business people from a range of sectors.
As Michelle De-Almeida, Coca-Cola 5by20 Mentor Co-Ordinator explains, it’s a worthwhile commitment with significant gain – “We are keen to attract more mentors while increasing diversity, experience and expertise to ensure that we can meet the high demand of our programme graduates. It’s important to note that the mentor doesn’t need to specialise in the area the mentee works in – it’s more about their business acumen, social skills and their ability to listen and question.
“This requires the commitment of time but maybe not as much as people might think. We’re looking for our mentors to have, on average, one meeting with their mentee per month, lasting around an hour, over a period of just six months. In return, they can make a huge difference to their mentee’s confidence and business which all has a positive impact on the local community and local economy. In turn, the mentor can make huge strides in his or her personal development and encourage them to question their own business and practices.”
Following an initial application and meeting with a programme coordinator, the mentor would be paired with a mentee.
The event will be held at Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce, Unit 37, City Quay, Camperdown Street, Dundee, DD1 3JA from 5-8pm on Tuesday 12 February 2019.
The mentor programme is sponsored by Clark Boles, Founder and MD of CBO Associates, who provide Quality, Health, Safety and Environmental and General HR consultancy services to businesses, and Alastair Fitchet, Founder of Dundee architectural practice AJFitchet | Architect.
Mr Boles commented, “Mentoring was key to kickstarting my business just over six years ago. It provided the support and encouragement to develop specific skills and knowledge that maximised my business potential and improved my performance. I’m delighted to be part of the Coca Cola 5by20 Mentoring Programme and I would encourage all local businesses to do the same. Being a mentor provides an incredible opportunity to give back, sharing with someone else the experiences you’ve had, lessons you’ve learned, and outside perspectives you can bring to bear, ultimately helping someone else remove obstacles and reach their fullest potential.“