Business Mentoring Could Enable 5 Million Small Businesses to Double Turnover

Sage statistics reveal business mentoring is an acknowledged advantage to small businesses but barriers mean only 22% of businesses surveyed currently use mentors

Closing the ‘mentoring gap’ could enable nearly five million small businesses to potentially double their turnover – generating a boost to the UK economy of millions of pounds – according to research published by software firm Sage.

In a survey of over 11,000 small and medium sized enterprises across 17 countries, 89% of participants acknowledged that mentoring would help their business to succeed.

However only 22% of the businesses surveyed presently make us of business mentors.

The report follows separate but supporting results from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills which showed that 44% of mentored small businesses reported an increase in turnover, compared to 23% of non-mentored firms.

Sage also revealed that twice as many mentored businesses were likely to hire staff (10% compared to 5%) and that 70% of mentored small and mid-sized businesses survive for five years or more – again double the rate of non-mentored companies.

Despite general agreement that mentoring is beneficial, businesses cited a number of reasons for not making use of mentoring programmes. 23% of UK small and mid-sized businesses highlighted a shortage of information on mentoring as a barrier, while 22% said that a lack of evidence confirming that mentoring will help their businesses to grow hindered its widespread application.

Sage ran an event on June 4th as part of its mentoring campaign,Business Navigators, to discuss mentoring in business with expert speakers including Sage CMO Amanda Jobbins.

Jobbins discussed closing the gap between those participating in, and those interested in, mentorship by targeting the key reasons why companies were not making use of it:

“Businesses that do not have access to, or choose not to make use of business mentoring are at a disadvantage. In our information rich age it can be difficult to know if you are doing the right thing. Mentors can play a big role in helping young businesses to navigate the sea of advice on offer.

“We need to educate start-ups and small businesses about the benefits of mentoring and where to find them.”

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