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Business Mentoring Scotland: a review


The Business Mentoring Scotland (BMS) programme aimed to provide mentoring services to over 100 companies of varying age and activity, attracting the goodwill support of some 100 experienced business people. The evaluation aimed to: review the mentoring process, mentoring relationships, role of events and outputs; focus on the nature of the programme and how programme processes relate to the achievement of the service; examine the quality and nature of the relationship that has developed between mentor and mentee, and the degree to which there is networking beyond the immediate relationship; and explore issues relating to industry sector, location and age of mentee.


The methodology consisted of face-to-face and telephone interviews with mentors and mentees, and discussion with SE staff.


There is a high level of satisfaction among mentors and mentees with respect to the programme and its delivery. The potential for further development has been recognised. Notes that mentor assistance seems to be generic rather than geared to specific sectoral difficulties. Considers that BMS appears to address market failure-type issues across the range of company type. Freedom for relationships to develop naturally within a set of fairly wide parameters has resulted in two broad categories of take-up of BMS provision: a matchmaking service and a development programme. Concludes that BMS has completed its developmental stage and progression to the next stage requires issues of strategy to be addressed.


Recommends that BMS needs to: refine elements of the programme; state explicitly whether it is providing a mentoring service to the individual or the business; develop Pathways to Network provision; address the wide range of business status; explore ways to further engage its coterie of high quality mentors; undertake a strategic review of its potential; and to introduce mentees and mentors to the full suite of Network assistance. Suggests that the BMS has the potential to create a self-generating momentum with beneficiaries returning the favour for the benefit of future businesses.

Author Policy Research Network
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Enterprise
    Support to existing/growth businesses