Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I'm number 6, 37, 72, 180...

The government announced a grand vision last year; that there would emerge a volunteer army of no less than 15,000 business mentors by now to support those aspiring start-ups and existing enterprises in the wake of cuts to funded business support (remember Business Link and the once proud national network of local enterprise agencies?)

And those nice civil servants in Whitehall recently revealed the exciting news that 7,500 such volunteer mentors have now been found! Fantastic! But there might be a problem... it seems that they haven't asked what level of enquiries for support these mentors are receiving (or are actually delivering...). So there might be 7,500 business mentors sitting around twiddling their thumbs. And there's another problem in that they're likely double counting too: I offer support to various enterprises through a number of mentoring initiatives (including the RSA Skills Bank, Unltd Connect, and others...)

So – volunteer mentors: there are obviously quite a few of us, and there are lots of schemes through which people can get at us. But I'm not sure how valuable it is to have government watching over us and claiming credit for what we're quietly getting on with to make sure that the world manages to keep getting along...

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