This project is aimed at growing companies that have been in business for three years or more.
It is for business owners who find themselves in uncharted waters regarding strategic/management issues, and would welcome the opportunity to speak with a ‘critical friend’ who can draw on personal experience or provide a different perspective. For example, business owners may have to make decisions about expansion, further investment, employment, or diversification.
The support is offered on a purely informal basis, free of charge and Menta – the Suffolk Enterprise Agency (or Genix Holdings, through which Menta runs regional projects) will act as the gateway for interested parties. This project also provides the opportunity to introduce would-be investors, business partners, non-executive directors etc to growing businesses looking for this type of support.
Graham Kill (Chairman of Suffolk IoD), Alex Till (Chief Executive of Menta) and Jane Cattermole (Menta & Suffolk IoD Committee member & MD of Bay Tree VA) are working together on this project.
- 32 Suffolk IoD members have signed up to take part and the majority of these have been matched at least once if not 2-3 times.
- 53 local businesses have applied to be matched with IoD members.
The matching is done via the Menta website, with separate pages for local business owners looking for support, and IoD members wanting to join the database. The project is promoted by postcards, in Menta’s A5 booklets, on its website, via Menta’s business advisers and via e-news shots.
Suffolk IoD has been able to invite Menta business contacts to its events to help create a greater diversity of businesses that attend, also providing a route to potential membership.
A snap shot regarding the IoD members:
- They see this project as a way of ‘paying back’ to their local business community.
- Some run multi-million pound businesses and have led management buyouts.
- The majority run their own businesses at Chief Executive/Chairman level.
- Some have worked as Directors of Blue Chip companies; some are already non-executive directors.