Mentor Partners Program

Our Mentor Partners Program provides support and guidance to help you develop your small business. It’s a joint initiative between the Glen Eira City Council and Kingston City Council.

Mentors are community minded business people. Many are semi-retired or retired and willingly volunteer their time to share business knowledge and wisdom based on their years of experience.

Eligible businesses are matched with a mentor by the Mentor Partners Program Co-ordinator under a confidentiality agreement.

Who can apply

Businesses that can apply must:

  • be based in the cities of Glen Eira or Kingston
  • trade for a minimum of 12 months
  • not operate under a franchise agreement
  • allocate time and commit to taking time out of the business, to work on the business with a mentor
  • if you are in a partnership, both partners must commit to the Program.

How to apply

Once the online form is completed

You will be contacted within seven working days to arrange a time to meet and discuss your application.

This meeting will help clearly ascertain your requirements and provide insights to achieve a compatible mentor match.

Compatibility in management style and skill set is equally considered in all mentor matches.

Not all mentors will be available for an immediate match.

Once the mentor is available then the Mentor Partners Program Co-ordinator will organise an introductory meeting.

It is at this meeting that the foundations of your mentor partnership will take shape. If you are happy to proceed, you will commit to a meeting time-table to progress the relationship and you and your mentor will sign a confidentiality and indemnity agreement.

How does Mentor Partners Program work?

There is no cost to the business – other than their time. Mentors are volunteering their time and expertise to the program. Small business operators apply to become part of the Mentor Partners Program. Businesses can apply at any time. 

Each mentor relationship has an average timeframe of six months and mentors are matched with business owners according to skill set and management style. 

The relationship is facilitated by Council’s Mentor Partners Program Co-ordinator, introduces and monitors the mentoring relationship. The mentor and mentee co-sign a confidentiality agreement to secure privacy. 

A mutual understanding of expectations is important and a partnership agreement will be defined in the first mentor meeting.

Ensuring effective outcomes

The Mentor Partners Program is an opportunity to work on your business.

Many business operators expend all their energy working in the business leaving no time to strategically look at their business operation and direction.

Taking time out to look, listen and learn, can provide business owners with the insight necessary to recognise missed opportunities and avert any potentially damaging actions.

To gain the most out of this Program, businesses must commit to agreed meeting times with their mentor. A mentoring relationship may be terminated if the business operator does not commit to the relationship.

What is mentoring?

Mentoring is a relationship that provides space for discussion and reflection with an experienced businesses person. It provides an insight to create actions and direction. It is a confidential relationship between business owners and a mentors. Mentors do not act as formal advisors. They provide the space to focus, share experience and knowledge, allowing the business owner to take considered action in their business.   

A beneficial relationship

Mentors can help mentees to think more strategically. They encourage mentees to develop and trust their own insights. By assisting the mentee to critically assess concerns, identify problems and their impacts on their business, a mentor can bring clarity to the maze of management issues. Together, the mentoring relationship can build self-awareness and personal development. The mentor's reward comes from seeing another person grow and develop — they enjoy building a rapport with the business community and feel valued for sharing their expertise.

Who are mentors?

Mentors involved in the Mentor Partners Program have a proven track record of success in business and are accredited by Glen Eira and Kingston City councils’ Mentor Partners management team.

They are community minded business people — many are semi-retired or retired and willingly volunteer their time to share business knowledge and wisdom based on their years of experience.

The mentors work with a business under a confidentiality agreement and invest their time to provide support, encouragement and a sympathetic ear.

Mentors do not act as formal advisors, consultants or coaches. They support a mentee to take considered action in their business and they provide space to reflect, focus and achieve more effective outcomes.

The Program benefits from the good will of mentors with expertise in some of the following industries and professions:

  • engineering
  • retail
  • manufacturing
  • wholesale
  • real estate
  • finance
  • sales
  • marketing
  • human resources
  • hospitality
  • importing/exporting
  • construction
  • product innovation
  • general management
  • financial management.

Consider being a mentor

Mentoring can be a highly rewarding experience. It is an important voluntary community activity that is critical to develop and nurture local business and help the local economy. 

A business mentor is someone with extensive experience and knowledge in business, either owning, operating their own business or in a high managerial position. It is someone who has walked the highs and lows, and dealt with managing growth and change in business. 

A business mentor is someone who takes special interest in helping another to develop a successful business through improved processes and practices.

To be a mentor you need:

  • extensive experience and knowledge in business
  • available time
  • be a great listener and have the ability to listen objectively and ask the right questions
  • tact, patience and diplomacy
  • clear communication.

A mentoring relationship is based upon encouragement, constructive discussion and comments, openness, mutual trust, respect and a willingness to learn and share. Mentors do not act as formal advisors, consultants or coaches.

The mentors reward comes from seeing another person grow and develop — they enjoy building a rapport with the business community and feeling valued for sharing their expertise.