The search is on for business, industry and export specialists who can volunteer as Sunshine Coast’s newest business mentors, with registrations closing at the end of October.
Minister for Employment and Small Business Di Farmer said the impact of COVID-19 was being felt by small businesses on the Sunshine Coast and across the state, and that experienced business professionals could help guide them.
“We know that the best thing we can do for small businesses is keep our economy growing, do everything we can to ensure any lockdowns are short and sharp, and keep them open and trading,” Minister Farmer said.
Member for Nicklin, Robert Skelton said that the Palaszczuk Government’s strong health response has allowed that to happen.
“Of course, we are now also on a huge vaccination push so we can open up to interstate travellers,” Mr Skelton said.
“However, we know the impact of COVID-19 is being felt, which is why we’ve provided a range of financial support and put backing small business at the heart of our $14.5 COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan.
“But often what businesses really need is that one on one mentoring, someone who can walk alongside them and help with specific challenges and opportunities.
“That’s where our Mentoring for Growth program comes in.”
Member for Caloundra, Jason Hunt said the government was on the lookout for more of Queensland’s brightest business minds to help small business owners.
“Mentoring for Growth is a free program for Queensland small businesses that provides access to a state-wide pool of mentors who are matched to businesses based on their skills and knowledge,” Mr Hunt said.
“In the last financial year, 95 per cent of mentees said that their business reported a projected increase in either employment, turnover or profitability following their session.
“With more businesses seeking advice as they adapt to new ways of operating, more mentors are needed across the state including Sunshine Coast.”
Mentoring for Growth is part of the Palaszczuk Government’s Big Plans for Small Business Strategy and helps small business grow by increasing skills, capability, and identifying opportunities.
Sunshine Coast’s Angie Hammond, volunteer business mentor since 2014 said it was a rewarding program for both mentors and mentees and encouraged other professionals to take part.
“I have been a Mentoring for Growth mentor for seven years, and the program has connected me to a bunch of really great people and taken me places I would not have gone – I have facilitated workshops, spoken on stage and been on roadshows all over regional Queensland,” Ms Hammond said.
“We need other mentors who have knowledge, passion and skills to share.”
Minister Farmer encouraged other business owners on Sunshine Coast to get involved in mentoring.
“I encourage experienced businessmen and women who know what it’s like to start and grow a business, or who have a specific skillset they can share – just like Angie – to contribute to the success of other Sunshine Coast businesses and nominate to be a mentor,” Minister Farmer said.
Mentor registrations close on 31 October. More information is available at https://www.business.qld.gov.au/mentoring
Pictured: Sunshine Coast mentor, Angie Hammond.