Have questions? We have answers.

We cover how to get started with a Mentor, whether you're currently running a business, or you have an idea for a startup. Also, learn here about the unique benefits of Mentoring, as well as what to expect over the course of each Mentoring Programme we offer.


1. What is Mentoring?

Mentoring is a professional relationship in which an experienced person — the Mentor — helps develop specific skills and knowledge in the Mentee, in order to improve their performance and maximise their business potential. The Mentor acts as a coach and a sounding board to help the Mentee strategise on solutions to specific problems, find the right direction, and develop the self-confidence, motivation and perspective needed to succeed in business.

2. Who will my Mentor be?

For both our Business Mentoring and Startup Mentoring Programmes, your Mentor will be an experienced businessperson who’s located not too far from your business. He or she will be matched to you by a Mentor Coordinator, based on your unique circumstances and needs.

If you’re joining our Startup Mentoring Programme, your mentor will be someone with specific experience in starting new businesses and the entire process involved.

3. Who are the Mentor Coordinators and what role do they perform?

Mentor Coordinators are our representatives, who are based locally at our Regional Business Partners spread across New Zealand. Your local Mentor Coordinator will be your ongoing point of contact.

After you register for one of our Mentoring Programmes, the nearest Mentor Coordinator will contact you within 5 working days to discuss your application and to make sure you're matched with the mentor whose skills and experience are most relevant to your needs.

Your Mentor Coordinator will reach out occasionally to follow-up and ensure the match is working well. You can also contact your Mentor Coordinator at any time if you have questions or need more help.

4. Is there a cost to register?

Yes. Participants in the Business Mentoring Programme pay an upfront registration fee of $295 plus GST, which entitles them to 1 full year of free mentoring, volunteered by your experienced Business Mentor.

After your year of mentoring has passed, you are welcome to register again. The registration fees simply help cover the operational costs of the programmes we provide.

5. When will I meet my Mentor?

You'll hear from your Mentor Coordinator once you've successfully been matched with a Mentor. Your new Mentor will then contact you within 10 working days to arrange a meet. Meeting times and locations will be chosen to suit both of you.

6. How often will I meet my Mentor?

This will be determined by you and your Mentor within your first 1-2 meetings.

If you’re in the Startup Mentoring Programme, your Mentor will outline milestones of creating a business plan, and review other key steps in starting a business. For participants in the Business Mentoring Programme, the agenda is built around your current business challenges and growth goals.

In both programmes, meeting frequencies and formats will be agreed on between both of you early on, which ensures you’ll have much support and Mentoring access as needed for the duration.

7. How long do I have my Mentor for?

If you register for our Business Mentoring Programme or Startup Mentoring Programme, you're entitled to free Mentoring for up to 1 year.

If you choose to proceed with your start-up venture, you are encouraged to register for the Business Mentoring Programme and get an additional year of Mentoring.

8. What will the Mentor do?

In the Business Mentoring Programme, your mentor will work alongside you over the course of the year to develop your professional skills and abilities.

The Mentoring will be tailored to suit your individual needs, but in general terms, your Mentor will first conduct a confidential business assessment and work with you to define your needs and objectives. Using this assessment, you and your Mentor will agree on an action plan, which you’ll then work together to implement.

In the Startup Mentoring Programme, your Mentor will help you create a business plan, step by step. As you work through the process, your business idea or concept will be tested to make sure it is feasible and sustainable. Your Mentor will help you understand the key issues and risks in establishing your business while walking you through potential liabilities and other hurdles.

It’s possible your Mentor will conclude your business idea is not sustainable, and he or she may suggest not proceeding with it. But ultimately, the decision to go ahead and establish the business is yours to make.

9. How can I expect my Mentor to work alongside me?

You can expect your Mentor to take a keen interest in your case, and for the programme to be intensive, yet rewarding.

Your Mentor will support you by:

  • Sharing resources on financial help, professional development, and other key business needs
  • Challenging your assumptions
  • Creating a safe learning environment for taking risks
  • Sharing their knowledge and life experience
  • Providing encouragement, guidance, and motivation
  • Listening to you, when you need a sounding board
  • Addressing all your questions and concerns about business
  • Being open and honest at all times.

10. How will the Business Mentoring Programme help my business?

Mentoring offers many benefits. Through the relationship, you'll realise the following:

  • Strategic initiatives that add real value to your business Improved productivity
  • A shorter learning curve, due to the retention of practical business wisdom
  • Critical feedback on communications, interpersonal relationships, technical skills, change management, leadership, and problem-solving, among other key areas
  • A sharper focus on your unique needs for professional growth
  • Specific skills that relate to your personal goals
  • A friendly ear to share both frustrations and successes with
  • Help with an exit strategy or succession planning, if necessary
  • A better understanding of your costs, overheads, and other financial implications of your business.

11. How will the Startup Mentoring Programme help my venture moving forward?

With Mentoring, you’ll determine for sure whether your idea is ready for the marketplace, and how to get your venture up and running successfully. You will come away with:

  • Thorough validation and testing of your business idea
  • An understanding of all your personal and financial risks
  • An understanding of the legal, regulatory, and other compliance frameworks in which you’ll need to operate
  • A robust, forward-looking business plan that’s ready for implementation
  • A Mentor who’s a sounding board for your concerns, questions, and personal challenges
  • Clear targets for success, with greater confidence in your plan of action.