Guid­ing light for busi­ness

Marlborough Midweek - - OUT & ABOUT - PAULA HULBURT

Busi­nesses are boom­ing as a thriv­ing men­tor scheme goes from strength to strength.

Since it started al­most five years ago, Busi­ness Trust Marl­bor­ough men­tors have helped out about 150 busi­nesses across the re­gion.

And a new chair­man has been ap­pointed to help en­sure the or­gan­i­sa­tion con­tin­ues to help com­pa­nies sur­vive and grow.

David Hall has stepped down as chair af­ter three years. His deputy, Bren­don Burns, was unan­i­mously sup­ported by trustees to suc­ceed him at the trust’s monthly meet­ing last week.

Hall says pos­i­tive feed­back from busi­nesses has shown in­put from the group has even helped some stay open.

‘‘We started with some great back­ing from the Nel­son sis­ter or­gan­i­sa­tion and have gone from strength to strength.

‘‘For close to five years we’ve pro­vided low-cost men­tor­ing ser­vices to nearly 150 Marl­bor­ough busi­nesses.

‘‘Some of the feed­back has been fan­tas­tic, with busi­nesses telling us we’ve helped them to sur­vive, suc­ceed and grow,’’ he says.

With about 30 men­tors, the group is made up of vol­un­teers who want to help grow jobs in Marl­bor­ough.

Hall, who will stay on as a board mem­ber, says the va­ri­ety of skills on of­fer have helped make the ini­tia­tive work.

‘‘These peo­ple come with a huge range of skills. They give up con­sid­er­able amounts of their time on a vol­un­tary ba­sis to as­sist busi­nesses and help our re­gion keep grow­ing jobs,’’ he says.

Burns said he was look­ing for­ward to work­ing more closely with trustees and men­tors as well as trust man­ager Brian Daw­son.

Burns also rep­re­sents the trust on the board of the An­gel In­vestors Marl­bor­ough group, for which the trust pro­vides man­age­ment ser­vices.

‘‘While the two or­gan­i­sa­tions each stand on their own feet, they each punch above their weight in mak­ing our re­gion grow and pros­per,’’ he says.

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