Mentoring and one-2-one Business Advice are core elements of the Business Support Programme within the Northern Lights Business Incubation Unit.
Mentoring can be described as “light touch “guidance from experienced business professionals where the objective is to encourage the client to think through issues relating to their business in a logical and rigorous way.
The Northern Lights mentoring team has a broad range of experience to offer, covering many different business sectors including service industries, manufacturing and “business to business” (B2B). Our experience also covers private, public and the not-for-profit sector including social enterprise. Northern Lights also has considerable specialist knowledge and physical resources to support firms entering the digital, creative and new media sector.
The initial stages of advice and mentoring are often to ensure that what might seem like a great and innovative idea at the pre-start or start-up-stage can be translated into a commercially viable product or service. On-going support is then available to help clients achieve and sustain profitability and growth.
Following the initial registration meeting, clients will be matched with an appropriate advisor / mentor and a meeting arranged aimed at developing a deeper understanding of client needs and the development of a detailed action plan. Follow-up mentoring sessions can be arranged on a regular or “as needed basis”. The objective is for the mentoring process to support and compliment the other elements of the programme to help clients meet the defined goals, milestones and expectations to build their businesses.
As well as the regular and scheduled advice and mentoring sessions, the advisor team have wherever possible adopted an “open door” policy for its clients, being available and on-hand at short notice to respond to requests for support and advice when either urgent, critical or complex needs have arisen in the clients business.
Alongside the mentoring process which supports the on-going development of the entrepreneur and of the business itself, the team can provide ad-hoc business advise on a wide range of topics where knowledge and an answer is required to a specific question, such as those relating to “how to”. In such instances the business advisor will draw on his /her specific experience or knowledge, or refer it to a colleague who is better placed to provide a solution.
The Northern Lights advisors team are all qualified to the Government’s National “SFEDI” Quality Standard. *
In 2010 the team were runners up in the National SFEDI Awards in the category of “Best Training and Support Organisation of the Year”. Each year, more than 100 UCLan graduates start up in business and the University is consistently among the top universities in the country for the number of businesses started and the high survival rate.
*Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative (SFEDI)
SFEDI is the Government recognised UK Standards Setting Body for Business Support and Business Enterprise.
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has been recognised for its business mentoring services at an annual awards ceremony.
The Northern Lights Business Incubation Unit was awarded the title of Best Business Enabler of the Year at this year’s Lancashire Business Awards (LBA), hosted by Downtown in Business, beating off competition from five other shortlisted businesses.
Celebrating the best in Lancashire, 21 trophies were presented overall at the Lancashire-wide event that celebrates the county’s brightest companies and individuals.
Northern Lights Business Incubation Manager Peter Rawling commented: “We are delighted to have been acknowledged for our work in this area. It is testament to the hard work and dedication of the Northern Lights team members who work closely with our start-up businesses to nurture and develop them.
“It is testament to the hard work and dedication of the Northern Lights team members who work closely with our start-up businesses to nurture and develop them.”
Please note: Mentoring and Business Advice is only available to registered Northern Lights clients