Expert Connections programme continuing to deliver boost for Suffolk entrepreneurs
- Credit: Archant
Suffolk-based enterprise agency Menta has hailed the success of a partnership with the county branch of the Institute of Directors which offers the owners of growing firms access to free advice.
The Expert Connections programme was launched just under two years ago, with the aim of matching IoD members willing to share their experience with entrepreneurs who acknowledge they lack expertise in some areas.
Among those helped by the scheme is Chris Whitham of creative services business While You Wait Website, based at Walsham-le-Willows, who has been working with Graham Kill, chairman of IoD Suffolk.
Mr Whitham said: “The Expert Connections scheme interested me because I thought it might be a good exercise to get a fresh and unbiased point of view about where I was with my business.
“I felt the sessions went really well despite the fact I was hearing some home truths which I didn’t really want to hear, although deep down I knew it was what I needed to hear.
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“The fact I didn’t know the IoD member made it much easier to listen and take on board the advice I was being given. Had it been someone I knew well I don’t think it would have had the same impact.
“I gained a better understanding and clarity about what I needed to do to move forward with my business in the right direction.”
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Mr Kill added: “I very much wanted Expert Connections to continue when I started as chair in January 2016. We are continuously encouraging IoD members to sign up as experts, so I thought best I see the work first hand and sign up.
“Before meeting Chris, I was sceptical that an hour and a half meeting could have that amount of impact on somebody. It’s very gratifying to give somebody help on their business journey – I wish Chris and all the other connections IoD members have made in Suffolk every success.”
Alex Till, chief executive of Menta, said: “The feedback about this free service has been extremely positive. Any Suffolk-based company which is over three years old can make the most of Expert Connections by completing a simple application form and we’ll arrange the introduction.
“Likewise, Suffolk IoD members who would like to offer their expertise are also encouraged to get in touch via the MENTA website.”
For full details, visit www.menta.org.uk/business-advice/expert-connections or call MENTA on 01284 760206.