Mentoring & pro bono

Our mentoring programme connects social entrepreneurs with professionals who can help them to develop.

Today, our network of mentors, partners and volunteers includes Deutsche Bank, UBS, PA Consulting, Debevoise & Plimpton, DLA Piper and Herbert Smith.

Mentoring is one of our most powerful tools. More than 70% of social entrepreneurs who accessed our mentoring support significantly increased their skills in business planning.

Our pro-bono partners offer specialist advice or services direct to our social entrepreneurs. This might be legal advice, or actual help to draw up their articles. It could be providing a service to help them file their accounts. The services are tailored and bespoke to meet the needs of our social entrepreneurs.

Benefits of mentoring

A mentor is a valuable resource for a social entrepreneurs. A good mentor can:

  • Brainstorm and develop ideas, as well as challenge them
  • Find the most appropriate solution to a problem
  • Improve communication skills
  • Introduce contacts and additional partners
  • Identify areas of a business to develop
  • Help build personal skills
  • Maintain focus and motivated
  • Build confidence

What we’re looking for

Mentors can be professionals with expert knowledge, or social entrepreneurs who have successfully grown their venture and want to help someone else trying to do the same.

  • Business skills and commercial expertise
    We look for mentors with experience and practical know-how. Mentors can be based anywhere in the UK and have a range of different experience: business consulting, marketing and PR, legal, finance, IT, HR or academia. Many run their own business. Others use business skills in their job. Some are a social entrepreneurs.
  • Self awareness and emotional intelligence
    A good mentor is aware of their own strengths and weaknesses. This helps them to be an open sounding board for the social entrepreneur. Our mentors are comfortable delivering the benefits of their experience. When our mentors share their experience, they do it openly and honestly.
  • The ability to listen and ask good questions
    Mentoring is about helping others to reach their own decisions. Our mentors must be good listeners. They need to be able to ask probing questions that challenge, stretch, encourage and guide, but avoid telling social entrepreneurs.
  • Strong interpersonal skills
    Mentoring partnerships are usually made or broken in the first couple of meetings - depending on whether the mentor and social entrepreneur get on. Our mentors have strong interpersonal skills and are comfortable meeting a social entrepreneur who may have a different background and life experiences.

 

Become a mentoring partner

We work with large organisations to develop bespoke mentoring programmes. Mentoring is a great way of developing employees’ skills and leadership qualities, giving them confidence in sharing their expertise. In the past, we have worked with Actis, Deutsche Bank and UBS.

Connect with our mentoring team.

Download our guide to mentoring social entrepreneurs.

Find a mentor

Our mentor programme is available to all of our social entrepreneurs. We know that starting up and running any kind of venture can be a long and lonely journey. Having a trusted and experienced guide can make a real difference to your wellbeing and chances of success.

Contact your award manager to connect with a mentor.

Mentor & Pro Bono Opportunities

We're always looking for new mentors to support our social entrepreneurs. If you want to join our network of mentors contact us today. For social entrepreneurs wanting to connect with a mentor please contact your UnLtd award manager.

Contact our team

800

We've worked with 800 mentors and volunteers to help social entrepreneurs.

£1,800,000

We brokered over £1,800,000 of added pro-brono and mentoring support

72%

of our social entrepreneurs improved their business skills after mentoring support.

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