1,000 mentoring opportunities for business owners

MentorsWork has supported over 3,000 Irish SMEs since launching in 2020.

Up to 1,000 fully-funded spaces are available for Irish SME business owners from all sectors nationwide on the highly successful MentorsWork initiative of Skillnet Ireland in partnership with the Small Firms Association.

Open to business owners and managers from all industries with 1-250 employees, the 12-week MentorsWork programme introduces participants to a dedicated and experienced mentor who works with them to address their specific areas of concern, alongside masterclasses and peer-to-peer workshops.

“The MentorsWork programme delivers support and mentorship opportunities that are driven by individual business needs”

Throughout the programme, SME owners and managers gain access to essential tools and knowledge in key areas such as People Management, Business Processes, Finance, Growth Strategies, and Digitalisation.

The award-winning initiative has supported more than 3,000 SMEs in Ireland since launching in 2020.

Fostering a culture of continuous learning

MentorsWork is an enterprise initiative of SFA, funded by Skillnet Ireland. Skillnet Ireland is funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.

By the end of the programme, participants will have created a bespoke business improvement plan with their mentor to help guide them through the following six months.

In addition to the 12-week programme, MentorsWork offers consultancy services and bespoke team training services to its alumni who have been through the initial programme and require more support with their business development plan.

“At Skillnet Ireland we are fostering a culture of continuous learning and upskilling within our SMEs,” said Paul Healy, chief executive of Skillnet Ireland.

“The MentorsWork programme delivers support and mentorship opportunities that are driven by individual business needs. Expert mentors are helping SME owners to innovate, to adopt new technologies and to adjust to the ever-changing market dynamics. The feedback from programme alumni has been powerful with many citing MentorsWork as the key to their continued success.”

MentorsWork has provided support to businesses across diverse sectors and industries including lifestyle, hair and beauty, childcare, technology, retail, marketing services, recruitment and small manufacturing businesses have been largely represented and all sectors are eligible for the programme. 

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and providing them with the necessary support and guidance is crucial for their success,” said Simon Harris, TD, Minister of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.

“Programmes like MentorsWork play a vital role in empowering SMEs to overcome challenges and thrive in today’s competitive landscape. It is part of our department’s mission to ensure that everyone has access to support to enhance their skills and reach their full potential. We are proud to support MentorsWork on its mission of building a pathway to business success.”

Main image at top: Geraldine Magnier, Director, Idiro Analytics and Chair of the SFA; Barry Prost, Co-founder, Rent a Recruiter; David Broadrick, Director of the Small Firms Association (SFA); Rachael McFarlane, Programme Manager, MentorsWork; Paul Healy, Chief Executive of Skillnet Ireland; Helen Lynch Managing Director of Nina’s Boutique; and Graham Buggy, Managing Director, Brendan Buggy Steel Fabrication Ltd

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