The qualification is designed to enable its mentors to give a higher quality provision of help and support to entrepreneurs.
The level five certificate in Enterprise Mentoring, developed in conjunction with Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative (SFEDI), will provide further knowledge and skills to the volunteer mentors currently supporting SMEs and already experienced and accredited at level three.
The new qualification comes as Lloyds Banking Group, working with SFEDI, develops and pilots a series of associated training resource materials and workshops. These are designed to aid the development of the necessary knowledge and skills to not only achieve the qualification but also to demonstrate best practice.
All those on the mentoring initiative, set up in conjunction with the British Bankers’ Association as part of the Business Finance Taskforce to help the economy return to sustainable growth by supporting businesses, are trained to level three which gives them the necessary tools to work as a mentor, passing on their expertise to nurture and support all types of businesses.
Once this pilot has been completed, both the qualification and the materials will be made available to a wider network of business support professionals in order to promote and develop the scope of the Enterprise Mentoring help available to businesses in the UK.
Jackie Jenks, business mentoring manager at Lloyds TSB Commercial, explains: “The new qualification we’ve developed has been designed to recognise those mentors who go above and beyond in their mentoring of SME businesses. It demonstrates that these individuals are experienced practitioners who offer support, guidance and expertise to their mentees as well as other mentors.
“The qualification itself requires that those at the height of the mentoring industry evidence that they can be both exemplars in practice and also help to support and develop those looking to improve their own mentoring skills. They will act as ambassadors for mentoring in their wider community.”
Sarah Trouten, Head of Operations at SFEDI Group, said: “Both Lloyds Banking Group and SFEDI feel that enterprise mentoring services are critically important to enable entrepreneurs to be as successful as they want to be and to help them devise new and more effective ways to approach business problems and challenges.”