Successful business owner from Falkirk one of 5,000 mentors helping small businesses shine

02/06/2023
Martin Robertson

AN AWARD-winning business owner from Falkirk in Scotland is one of more than 5,000 business leaders that have signed up to become part of a national network of voluntary mentors to help SMEs realise opportunities to grow.   

  

Martin Robertson has over 30 years’ experience as a chartered accountant. In that time, he’s worked with a huge range of businesses of various sizes. 

  

Martin credits his passion for mentoring to a book he read in 2010 that raised the question: “What do you enjoy about your job?”, after which he realised it was being able to work with his clients and to listen to and help them. 

  

Commenting on what he enjoys about his role as mentor, he said: ”Each meeting is different, so the skills you use change from session to session. This gives me a great chance to learn from the mentees, whether it’s new skills or my knowledge of new industries or sectors.  

“I get a great thrill when a mentee has an ‘Aha!’ moment, when the penny drops about their challenge(s) or when they see a way forward that they couldn’t see before.” 

In recognition of his work, Martin won the award for outstanding contribution at the National Mentoring Matters Awards earlier this year. When asked what it meant to him, he said: “It’s special to me because I’m passionate about business mentoring and the impact it has supporting small business owners.” 

Martin qualified as a chartered accountant in 1990 and opened his own practice in 1996. Since finding inspiration to mentor from a book, he published his own book called Your 60-minute business transformation. 

According to the Office for National Statistics, improving and developing management practices can result in a productivity boost of up to 10 per cent. *   

  

The Help to Grow: Management Course offers senior business leaders one-to-one support from an experienced and fully rated business mentor included in 50 hours of leadership and management training across 12 weeks, with the government covering 90% of the costs involved. Training is delivered via a national network of over 50 business schools.    
     
Emma Jones, founder of small business support platform Enterprise Nation, part of the consortium of businesses contracted to recruit volunteer mentors for the course, said: “It’s so important right now for businesses to be able to access high quality support like this.      

  

“The Help to Grow: Management Course online platform allows businesses to find the perfect mentor so they can start to put what they have learned into practice.”     

  

A digital platform uses data and weighting technology to pair businesses with mentors based on location, sector, and mentoring support required. Mentors sign up on a voluntary basis and offer a commitment of 10 hours, over 12 weeks, plus time to engage in training offered by the Association of Business Mentors.      

  

In exchange for offering their time and experience, voluntary Help to Grow: Management Course mentors receive significant value in the form of industry recognised mentor training, access to qualified content, networking opportunities with other mentors, and the possibility to join a national effort aimed at supporting the growth of the UK economy by increasing small businesses’ productivity.     

  

Led by business support group Newable and including Enterprise Nation and the Association of Business Mentors the consortium has been appointed by the Government to develop a national network of business leaders and experts who will share their skills and experience with firms on the practical management training course.     

  

For those interested in becoming a mentor, sign up here.     

  

* ONS (2018), Management practices and productivity in British production and services industries – initial results from the Management and Expectations Survey: 2016   

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