Scaleup and grow: North East LEP seeks entrepreneurs for mentoring programme

Six months after launching, a bank of experienced North East business leaders are ready and waiting to act as mentors for business owners keen to learn from others’ experiences.

Companies experiencing rapid growth or rapid growth potential need to learn to cope quickly with changing demands, but many find it hard to develop their managerial and leadership talent while their organisations are growing so fast.  It can also be lonely at the top and having someone to talk to outside of the business, that recognises and understands these challenges, can be invaluable.

The programme is led by North East LEP mentoring co-ordinator Helen Lee, who matches mentors with mentees based on each person’s individual skills and experience.

Lee said: “The programme is off to a great start with mentors actively working with North East businesses with high-growth ambition. Importantly, all the mentors we’re working with have first-hand experience of growing and scaling business. There is a phenomenal range and depth of experience within our pool of mentors and the pool is growing. If you are the leader of a growing business and would like to be matched with a mentor, we want to hear from you.

“These mentors can help people to gain the skills and knowledge required to scale up their businesses, which is vital for the growth of the regional economy and an important part of the North East LEP’s strategic economic plan.”

Pamela Petty, ex-managing director of family-run business Ebac, is participating in “Growth through Mentoring” as a mentor and has been matched with Sam Wass, from the Great British Meat Company. “I’m really passionate about the North East, and feel that if I can help grow the economy by sharing my experience then I should,” Petty said. “I love people that are passionate about what they do, so working with people like Sam is a pleasure.”

Wass has benefited from Petty’s background in manufacturing and selling online. The company is an online butcher, which has taken a traditional business and diversified into digital retail. As a result, it is currently on target to increase revenues by 50% this year.

Wass said: “After just one session I knew I had a good and positive match and in fact we’ve already honed in on an issue that we are likely to focus on.

“It really helps when there are lots of comparable experiences, and your mentor has the same mindset as you – for us that’s in terms of manufacturing. I’m looking forward to continuing with the programme and seeing where this dedicated support takes the company next.”

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Are you a business owner or manager with ambitions to grow your business? Find out how you could be matched with an experienced mentor through the North East LEP’s Growth Through Mentoring programme at

Published: 05 July 2017

Article by Special Feature: North East LEP
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