The Importance of Mentoring

This brings me quickly to the subject of mentors. Statistically you are four times more likely to fail within the first three years without a mentor than you are with one.

So what is a mentor and how do you find a good one? Well there are various ways you can do this but a good start is at the Business & IP Centre, part of the British Library situated at 96 Euston Road, London.

Many people do not realise the importance the British Library plays in the business life of the nation. Completed in 1996/7 the new building which houses the nation’s literary treasures brought many comments regarding its external appearance, both good and bad, from various quarters including HRH the Duke of Edinburgh.

I was fortunate enough to have lunch with HRH Prince Philip & HM The Queen when the Royal Couple visited Bristol at the end of Her Majesties Jubilee Tour and was able to explain to a very interested & engaged Prince Philip just how important the British Library is to the well-being of Small to Medium-sized businesses, with a failure rate of those mentored within the Business & IP Centre, where I am Entrepreneur in Residence, amongst the lowest in the Country.

In May 2005 the British Library received a grant of one million pounds from the London Development Agency to change two of its reading rooms into the Business & IP Centre which opened its doors officially in 2006. It holds arguably the most comprehensive collection of business & Intellectual property material in the UK and is the official library of the UK intellectual & Property Office.

The British Library was originally part of the British Museum but became an entity in its own right in 1973, moving to its present home in 1997. It is the National Library of the United Kingdom and one of the two largest libraries in the world, the other being the Library of Congress in Washington DC, USA.

Various mentoring programmes are available within the Business & IP Centre including its revered Innovation for Growth programme which attracts many plaudits. If you are a London-based business, have been established for over a year and have an annual turnover of £100,000 the Innovation for Growth programme can help you fulfil your growth ambitions.

By joining this well thought out business support programme you will get bespoke advice to help you make the leap. With business experts and unrivalled research collections the Business & IP Centre can help you develop and implement a sustainable strategy for your business growth.

Whether you want to enter new markets, both home and abroad, expand your business to new outlets or develop your product or service range to reach new customers a visit to the centre is a must.

You can also receive personalised advice on protecting your intellectual property and increasing the power of your brand to give you the opportunity to take advantage of new commercial opportunities.

Other benefits include:

  • A dedicated relationship manager & one-to-one mentoring and advice
  • Membership of the much revered ‘Growth Club’ with peer-to-peer networking events
  • Exclusive access to the British Library Entrepreneur in Residence who just happens to be me!
  • Featured in Business & IP Centre media and marketing campaigns with a listing on their official website which will raise your profile and that of your business.
  • Complimentary tickets to events with the chance to meet high profile speakers

To find out more visit


HEROPRENEURS- Battlefield to Business
There are other mentoring programmes around the country including one for ex-military personal managed by the military charity [ilink url=””]Heropreneurs [/ilink]with over 20,000 people leaving the military this year alone there is a vital need for more mentors within its programme so if you are an experienced business person why not apply?

As I said at the beginning of this article, new and growing businesses have a much better chance of survival with access to a mentor so seeking out an appropriate programme should be high on the agenda of any person seriously wanting to create a new business, or progress one they already run to the next level.   will give more information from the Government on this.

It may also be worth contacting the Princes Trust to see if they have any appropriate schemes which you can join, visit their website for more information .

Being in business for your-self is a wonderful thing but to enjoy the benefits you need to survive the early years. Taking a mentor will help you achieve this.


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