Business mentoring –

13 07 2012

horsesmouth are thrilled to be partnering with, a collaborative online resource for UK small and medium-sized enterprises seeking mentoring.

The aim of is to provide those seeking business mentoring easy access to all existing mentoring organisations and networks under one umbrella. The site is free to use and offers businesses access to a list of quality-assured business mentoring organisations across Britain. The goal is to help businesses find a mentoring organisation to suit their needs in a fast and easy way.

For the huge stable (sorry!) of horsesmouth business and enterprise mentors, it’s a great fit.

The site also allows business professionals to get involved, and offer their services as a business mentor via the mentoring organisations listed. Aspiring mentors may want to work in a particular area of Britain and have a particular area of expertise to offer. The site has a directory which allows them to locate mentoring organisations that are the closest match to their profile. also aims to raise awareness about the benefits of business mentoring through its library of online resources, which includes articles about mentoring and case studies of successful business mentoring relationships.

Have a look at this clip showing how having access to an experienced mentor in the early days of a business can be the key to success for a new company.

Find a mentor on here.

Sign up to become a mentor here.

Read the rest of this entry »


Mentor Mondays.

16 04 2012

As we regularly do on Mentor Mondays, we’d like to share some of our newest mentors who have signed up. These are just a few of the people who have signed up to volunteer their time to mentor with us in the last couple of weeks; great new mentors that we’d like to get out there so the good work can begin! Why not get in there today and drop them a line?

First up, StartUpBuddy – a web entrepreneur with a successful online business, he is experienced in e-commerce, SEO and pay per click. He describes himself as, ‘a little obsessed with entrepreneurship and can’t wait to start a new business’. Maybe he could advise you on how to turn your business idea into reality, or help push your existing business to the next  level?

Seagull54 has 35 years or varied business experience, from senior menagement in multinationals through to directorships of medium sized companies. (£50-100m turnover.) Not only that, but he is a qualified practitioner coach and a Master Practitioner of NLP, Hypnotherapy and timeline therapy. His reason for mentoring? ‘At the age of 57 it is important for me to help people and to make a positive contribution to society.’

mentorBrove is someone we could all use from time to time – the IT guy! With 22 years of experience working in IT with public sector clients, he could be a great mentor to advise on your charity or social enterprise IT requirements. He says, ‘I have enjoyed helping many different clients get the best out of their IT services by ensuring that they understand and meet their business needs.’
And finally, DanniLou95 – a new young mentor, she describes herself as, ‘just your normal 16 year old girl who has been through the typical problems you face through your teenage years!’ She’s offering to share her experience and advise on essential teenaged issues such as friends, school life, exams and young love. Who didn’t need someone to talk to when they were a teenager?
Sign up to become a horsesmouth mentor today! It’s free, anonymous, easy and safe. Let someone else benefit from the lessons you’ve learned and share your wisdom.

Mentor Mondays.

2 04 2012

For today’s Mentor Monday, we want to share three exceptional new mentor profiles, all of whom have all signed up within the last week. Their common message is that they want to use the experience they’ve gained to help someone else: basically the central mission of horsesmouth!

First up: Edge is a successful entrepreneur in the financial sector, with top level experience at The Ford Motor Company, as well as being a published author of both business guides and novels. Impressive, I’m sure you’ll agree!

Of mentoring he says, ‘If I had known the things I know now when I was starting out my life would have been a lot easier and more profitable. We all learn by experience and in truth there is no shortcut. However, I believe that having an experienced person who can advise you and guide you as you go along is invaluable. In my career I have had many triumphs and I have also made my fair share of mistakes, some of which have been costly. As an experienced entrepreneur I should like to try and help others who are starting out avoid some of the business pitfalls that await them. ‘

Fiend85 is 26, and has an abundance of experience, both professional and personal. An engineer, she wants to mentor more women and young people to enter the field, saying, ‘I feel like because I had to work so hard to enter a career in engineering after almost failing my A-levels I could offer a lot of advice and support.’

Bereaved of her mother at a young age, she also wants to mentor others going through the same. ‘Grief and bereavement don’t have rules, they’re frightening and confusing for young people. They don’t know that as well as being sad or angry, they can experience panic attacks, paranoia, nightmares. They could be plunged into serious depressions and feel like self harming or ending their own lives. I want to be there to help them find their way through. Remind them that if they keep going they’ll be ok.’

She also dealt with realising she was gay in her teens, and says, ‘I’d like to help people understand that they were born the way they are, that it’s not their fault, and they don’t need curing.’ A wealth of useful experience just waiting to be tapped into.

Finally, Passioncoach is 53, a mother, accomplished in business strategy and development across global markets, including emerging markets. Of her achievements she says, ‘Early on I discovered that the only limit we have is the one we fix for ourself. I decided that my playing field will have no boundaries.’

So what are you waiting for, get them while they’re hot! These mentors have all signed up within the last week; why not make contact today? You could start the ball rolling on a great mentoring relationship…

Mentor Mondays.

19 03 2012

Phew, where did that Monday go? Just time for a quick round-up of a few of our latest mentors, who have joined within the last week.

First-up: meet quakquak – professional organiser!

I am the owner/operator of a professional organising company, providing organising services and strategies for businesses and homes. I assist clients by streamlining their environment and systems to alleviate the stress, frustration and confusion associated with disorganisation thereby increasing productivity and profitability for businesses and harmony in clients’ homes.

Having lived in Canada for almost 30 years, I was well aware of the professional organising techniques there and employed them in my own life and for others around me. At university, I was always the one structuring the study meetings and organising events. When I moved into the corporate world, I consistently found myself gravitating towards roles where I was ensuring that processes and procedures were followed and where quality assurance was a must.

Having turned 40 last year, I had that epiphany that most of us have around this age. Life is short. It was time to make my mark. Having set up a small business in the past year, I was so thankful for the advice I had from others in order to achieve this. After my son was born, I decided to move out of the corporate world and work for myself.

Why mentor on horsesmouth?

As I had been organising friends, family and others since I was at university, I realised that this is what I was really good at and passionate about. I loved helping others get their organising structures in place and living a decluttered life. The move from a corporate career has been such a fantastic move. Not only has it given me the chance to do what I love, it affords me the flexibility that I was looking for to ensure that I was caring for my family in a way that suited our lifestyle. Although there will be always times where you feel unmotivated and sometimes even deflated, moving steadily forward has helped me personally in my business set-up and growth. I would like to share my ideas and thoughts with others having similar experiences.

Next up, Rofhouse, offering 35 years of business and entrepreneurial experience.

I have been responsible for a businesses or their development for 35 years. My experience extends across a range of setors but generically will add value to any business. Architecture, Construction, Security, Leisure, Agriculture, Catering, Electronics and more.

I have been an architectural specifier, a salesman, company director, farm park operator. I have worked with enterprises large and small, five startups went to £multimillion and I have been the lead in winning two international business awards.

My passion is working with and supporting micro businesses. I have established a group of entrepreneurs under the banner of the Centre for Micro Business C.I.C – a social enterprise in order to deliver an accredited programme for startups and those seeking growth. I have also undertaken the basic SFEDI mentoring course.

My involvement in supporting businesses includes Chairmanship of the Federation of Small Businesses in Kent.

Why mentor on horsesmouth?
I have a huge bank of experience and accumulated knowledge. My passion is to ensure that the grass roots of the economy is nurtured and I believe that can be accomplished by helping those climbing the ladder. I enjoy meeting people and the challenge of problem solving.

And finally, Sian88, offering advice on overcoming OCD and dealing with domestic violence.

I’m nearly 24, and I live in Bath. I’d like to turn some of my life experiences into something positive and to communicate with other people about some of the issues we usually keep to ourselves. I know what it’s like to feel burdened with things. I consider myself to be empathetic and compassionate so it would be great to use that in helping others.

I have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and learning about the condition has helped me live a more normal life. My OCD was undiagnosed for many years, I didn’t even tell anyone about my disabling, crippling thought patterns, – and this all started when I was young, twelve or thirteen. It was only when I read about OCD aged twenty that I realised I wasn’t insane, as I’d previously thought. I have suffered from depression caused by not understanding my OCD, but also as a result of real and tangible things; loneliness, ostracisation by my peers, negative opinion of myself.

I experienced domestic abuse when living with a male friend at University. It was only violent once or twice but his behaviour was still aggressive and frightening. He mentally abused me, playing mind games, belittling me, using nasty insults and demeaning everything that meant anything to me. I think I would be helpful for people in a similar situation who don’t necessarily even realise that they are being abused, as the media depicts domestic abuse as always involving physical harm. Often, I think, as women, we come to expect belittlement by men; this is utterly wrong and I want to help other women (or men) who are in this situation or anything similar.
Why mentor on horsesmouth?
I want to do something worthwhile with my free time and I think, especially in the current financial and social situation, it is important that we pitch in to help one another using free and easily accessible services.
Start your mentoring relationship today; send a request for a mentor to quakquak, rofhouse or  sian88


Mentor Mondays.

12 03 2012

The beginning of another week means another Mentor Monday! This week we thought we’d share with you a few of our latest mentor profiles from the last couple of weeks. These are just three of many fully profiled mentors who have signed up, but they have an interesting range of experiences, from debt advice to dealing with adoption, so we thought we’d share.

First up, meet Recover.

‘I am a Debt Consultant, working with individuals and businesses to resolve their financial problems. I am not a licensed Insolvency Practitioner, which means I work for the client and can offer a wider range of solutions, both short term and long term. 

I often get asked why I do this work because it must be so stressful and tiring, it can be, but think how stressed and tired my clients are, fighting for their business, their home, even their family.

Why mentor on horsesmouth?

‘I feel that I have a great deal of knowledge which I would like to be able to pass on. In my current role I get to see a lot of business owners who have made the wrong choices or have acted upon poor advice and I would like to offer my experience and knowledge to new and existing businesses so they have better knowledge and the ability to explore options they might not have considered. Ultimately, if businesses can succeed because I have been able to offer suggestions and a greater ability to think laterally it means that there is less likelihood of a business failure for all the wrong reasons.’

Next up, peacewithyou.

‘I’m a 41 year old female who has, like everyone else, experienced the highs and lows of life. I am a qualified social worker and have worked as a telephone listener with the Samaritans. My outlook on life is positive, but realistic. I strive to learn as much as I can, and share this with others.

I enjoy my family and pets.’

I am adopted and have searched hard (over 20 years) to piece together my life, which is starting to happen. I can relate to other people who feel confused about who they are, or say, lost faith in who they believe to be. But I believe the answers are out there, it’s just knowing how to find them.

Why mentor on horsesmouth?

‘There have been many lows in my life and by providing support and guidance, someone hopefully can be empowered to make positive changes in their own life.’

Finally, TessaD.

‘I’m a 36 year old single mum, with a lot of experience in many of life’s trials. I am finally at a happy and contented place in my life, and have managed this in spite of all the things I have had to go through. 

I have experience of parental alcoholism, neglect, genetic illness, caring for a terminally ill mum who had Huntington’s disease, the effect of suicide, and many other difficult issues.’

‘I am proud of the person I have become and would really like to pass on some of the lessons and experiences I’ve had. I’m independent and hard working, and take great pride in that. 

I work for a local charity, my job is harm reduction work for people with drug and alcohol problems. Here I help to run a drop-in centre and a needle exchange. I have previously been a trained Health Advisor for a pharmacy, and I have Level 2 in Counselling Skills.’

Why mentor on horsesmouth?

‘I have recently gained a level 2 in counselling/listening skills, and would like to put that to use, as well as use the experiences I’ve had to possibly help sombody else. We all need a sounding board sometimes!’

If you would like to share your wisdom and become a mentor, join horsemouth today. You will need to be over 16 and have a UK mobile phone, for registration purposes.

Mentor Mondays.

20 02 2012

For today’s mentor mondays, I wanted to introduce you to some of the most active mentors on horsesmouth. We have a system called the m-factor, where mentors get rated for their response, on factors such as timeliness, speediness and usefulness. 

A mentor’s m-factor is also a good way of showing whether a mentor is really active.

Of course, numbers don’t tell the whole story, and it’s certainly not a competition, but I thought you might be interested to meet just a few of our high-scoring m-factor scoring mentors. They come from a great range of backgrounds, experience and specialisms.

Jason is one of our Business & Enterprise mentors, and has an m-factor of 1353.  ‘I’m a Northerner living in the South of England, currently the CEO of a UK based Internet business and used to the Managing Director of a global company. I have a degree in Philosophy, and I started working properly at 26 after having travelled widely (scholarship to the US, Kibbutz, worked at Disney World in Florida and even as a Holiday rep in Greece). I am passionate about the potential of the web to connect people, fuel debate, generate ideas and make us feel bigger rather than smaller.’

Diamond is also a Business & Enterprise mentor.  She is 45 and has an m-factor of 1815. ‘I’ve done most things the wrong way round! Left school at 16 to dance & set up my own ventures – a business, a social enterprise & a charity. I am a serial entrepreneur myself having established 5 businesses and helped others with theirs. I mentor start ups, small businesses and artists and specialise in issues such as self employment/freelancing, being creative & innovative, moving from being a one-person-band to taking on staff, not-for-profits & charitable aims and objectives, enjoying your work and achieving your dreams.’

DramMan is 63, and both a fifty forward and Business & Enterprise mentor. His m-factor is 1757. ‘Father of two grown up children, having spent 30 years travelling internationally marketing scotch whisky and other products, now semi retired and pursuing various interests, including paid consultancy and voluntary assignments. I hope that Horsesmouth may be another means of sharing my life experience, while still learning from others’ expertise.’

Antoinetta is also a Business & Enterprise mentor. (They’re an industrious lot!) She’s 49, and has an m-factor of 6135. ‘Married for 24 years with a 23 year old daughter who’s been through uni and now in her first job, and a 20 year old son who’s just finished A’Levels and hopefully about to go to university. Co-founder of our business, I’ve had a variety of roles from administration to interior decorating, working with children and really most importantly raising my own two fantastic kids. I’ve held a variety of business roles for over twenty years. For the last thirteen I have been joint director of a successful Managed Learning Services Provider. We provide large corporates, smaller companies and individuals with first class advice on specific training requirements.’ As well as business, Antoinetta mentors on relationships, parenting, bereavement, self-esteem and confidence.

Alan is both a fifty forward and a Business & Enterprise mentor. He’s 62 and has an m-factor of 2565. ‘I am 61-years-old & feel 35! I was educated to PhD level (I will finish it one day) & have spent the past 25 years in senior management positions internationally – USA, Australia, Bahrain, Russia, Dubai, India – in banking software. I now have my own company based in Dubai & India, specialising in developing cost-effective solutions for European SME’s. I have a wife & 18-year-old son who returned to the UK three years ago so that my son could pursue his dream of becoming a footballer (he’s promised me 50% of his salary!). I have had a great life & it is getting better all the time as I continue to grow as an individual. One of my passions is personal growth in people. We have set up a mentoring process in my business & I love to see people rise to challenges & become ‘bigger’ characters.’

Artemis mentors via our partnership with Women’s. Aid. She is 49, and has an m-factor of 2950. ‘I am a working, divorced mother of three and have just qualified as a Clinical Hypnotherapist. My eldest child was diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic several years ago. I have experience in the issues this raises and can empathise greatly with anyone either suffering from this condition or with relatives trying to deal with it. My family background growing up was difficult and in my teens I suffered from anorexia. I recovered fully, but understand also the issues surrounding eating disorders. My first marriage ended due to my ex-husband’s violence and control, and I received assistance from Womens Aid in escaping this marriage. Therefore, domestic violence is an area I feel able to offer support and practical advice on, as well as relationships, anxiety, building self-esteem, life-coaching and family related issues.’

blankcanvas is a business and enterprise mentor. He is 39, and has an m-factor of 2049. ‘I am passionate about helping people and in my career to date I have helped many people excel in their goals at work and in their personal life. I am a qualified Life Coach with my own business in coaching. I want to help more small businesses in 2012 with start up questions, people management issues and process improvement requests. I have worked within the recruitment and selection environments as a Recruiting Manager so can give help and advice on CV content, interview skills and techniques and how to improve your chances in your next career move.’

If I’ve missed you out and you’d like to be featured on the blog, comment below with your screen-name!

Mentor Mondays – Social Media Week 2012.

13 02 2012

It’s Social Media Week. Love it or hate it, social media has changed how we communicate. It’s now essential for businesses and organisations to have a social media presence: not only to listen to what people are saying about them, but as an invaluable way of communicating first-hand with target customers or audience.

Of course, it’s not quite as easy as sending out a few sales tweets, or keeping your Facebook page updated. For social media to really make a difference to your business, it needs to be managed correctly, with strategy aligned to business objectives. And, once you’ve got your social media channels working effectively, you then need to know how to develop the online community you’ve built.

Luckily for you, we have a wealth of social media experts on horsesmouth who are looking to share their knowledge and skills – from bloggers to strategists, ecampaigners to community managers.

First of all, meet our mentor Toppage. She defined and implemented social media policy and strategy for Channel 4. If you work in the creative industries, her experience could be valuable in learning how to shape your social media strategy.

Next up is MediaGeek. This mentor is a web entrepreneur and founder of a well-known blog publishing network. As she says, ‘It’s easy when you know how! But not everyone has spent as much time staring at the internet as me, which is why I’ve spent many years offering training, help and advice wherever and whenever I can.’

NedLudd was an early pioneer in using the web for social change. He created an award winning website and is now working on an online space for young people to make their ideas a reality. Of social networking he says, ‘One of the greatest potentials opened up by digital communications is collaboration, peer production and sharing. The long tail of mentoring is a key part of this.’

IanM is a blogger and could advise you on any blogging platform issues. Another blogger is DaveBriggs, a social media expert also experienced in putting together online communities: bringing people together to learn from each other and communicate better. Another mentor experienced in community management and moderation is Becnavich, who says, ‘If you’re thinking of starting up an online community, I may be able to help you out with tips for engaging people, good moderation practices, etc.’

Last but not least, meet Madam_J, a mentor via our partnership with 4Talent and a consultant and lecturer in social media strategy.

Of course, with 27,000 fully registered mentors on horsesmouth, these are just a selection of those specialising in social networking and media. Search using specific terms on our hompage to find filtered results to match exactly what you’re looking for. Also, follow hashtag #SMW12 on Twitter, to keep up to date with the latest Social Media Week news from around the world as the week progresses.