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Free mentoring programme calls for Highland businesses to apply as country emerges from effects of coronavirus lockdown on economy


By Philip Murray

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FREE mentoring support is being offered to Highland businesses as they cautiously emerge from the coronavirus lockdown.

Scottish Business Cares (SBC) has opened its mentoring programme for the next round of applicants, as businesses adjust their operations to deal with the 'new normal.'.

Delivered by the Scottish Business and Resilience Centre (SBRC), in partnership with the Scottish Government, the programme aims to give tailored advice from senior business leaders and entrepreneurs.

While this "goodwill collective" initially launched with a series of webinars, the crux of SBC’s offerings is a one-to-one mentoring service for Scottish organisations who need more tailored support.

Webinars in July and August will provide more information on the application process and what organisations can expect.

Jude McCorry, CEO of SBRC, said: “Our mentoring programme is a fantastic opportunity for organisations in the Scottish Highlands to get immediate, specific support to overcome the challenges brought on to their operations by Covid-19.

“Belinda Roberts, founder of WeDO Scotland and member of our Scottish Business Cares Advisory Board is running the mentoring programme for us. She has been a wonderful resource in connecting businesses with leaders and entrepreneurs that have the relevant experience and knowledge.”

Belinda Roberts added: “SMEs are the lifeblood of the Scottish economy and it is essential that they are given every advantage to ensure their ongoing viability and success. Expert advice and support for these companies as they emerge from lockdown will be an essential lifeline for many who are facing considerable challenges during these unparalleled times.

“We are delighted our mentoring programme will help more businesses in the Scottish Highlands make a smooth recovery with guidance from experts in fields including frameworks to aid recovery, realignment of products and services, investment, legal and financial management, and grant funding. This programme will make a tangible difference to businesses and help bolster the Scottish economy on the road to recovery.”

Participants will have an initial meeting with Belinda Roberts to discuss the challenges they are facing and identify the most immediate support and guidance required to benefit and fast-track their path to recovery. They will subsequently have a total of six hours virtual mentoring from their matched mentor over a period of six weeks.

This new intake of applicants marks the second such round, following an initial launch in June. Approximately 50 organisations have already been matched with mentors.

For more details, visit the SBRC website at www.sbrcentre.co.uk/events.

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