Meet a mentor
27th October 2017
Carolene Thompson has been with Newable for 12 years, and works in our Lending team as a Customer Growth Manager. With over 16 years of mentoring experience under her belt, Carolene has worked with a range of UK based companies looking to start and scale their business.
As part of World Mentoring Day, we spoke to Carolene about the type of mentoring she does and the impact this has on UK businesses.
Hi Carolene, could you tell us a little about the type of mentoring you do?
I offer business mentoring services to assist early stage and more established businesses to develop and grow. Mentoring support can vary from managing finance, recruiting staff, scaling a business, to digital marketing, procurement, advertising or building confidence in business. Clients are also provided with access to information such as sources of grant finance and introductions to additional support services such as international trade or innovation support.
What kind of clients do you work with?
I work with pre start, early stage, and more established businesses that have been operating for a few years and are looking to grow.
Do you specialise in any area?
I provide all round mentoring support with specialisms in key areas, including sales, marketing, market research, raising finance, social enterprise and confidence building. From my experience, these are the areas the businesses I work with struggle with the most, so it’s great to be able to make a real impact.
What makes you most proud as a mentor?
For me, it’s seeing mentees develop and grow to a stage where their businesses are performing well. A huge part of what I do is to build confidence, by giving mentees the knowledge and resources to help them make the right decision for their business. Being a part of this process to build confidence definitely makes me proud.
What have your biggest achievements been as a mentor?
There are many, from seeing individuals becoming more confident in running their business, to assisting the business to become more profitable. For example, one small business I worked with went from making a loss of £9,000 per year to achieving a profit of £90,000 in the first 10 months of mentoring as a direct result of the marketing and management support they received. I would say this is one of my proudest achievements.
What is the biggest challenge faced by companies looking to grow in the UK currently?
Access to finance, marketing, time management and confidence in their own judgement are the main challenges businesses face. For many small businesses where there may be a fewer members of staff, there is often a sense of isolation and lack of knowledge regarding where to go for support. Mentoring helps to alleviate this, as a mentor you are often a sounding board for new ideas or in finding solutions when faced with various challenges.
How do clients work with you?
Mentees I support are contacted via telephone, email and occasionally face to face meetings. We offer a flexible service where clients can opt to take mentoring sessions on a monthly basis, some times weekly when problems occur, or as and when help is required.
If you are looking for mentoring support, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can help.