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Mentoring improves performance in small business, says report

Almost nine in ten small employers acknowledge the benefits mentoring could add to their business although few utilise it, according to a survey by software provider Sage.

A report that canvassed 1,200 small business leaders on mentoring found that 88% said it "could help them to succeed" despite only 22% using business mentors as part of their commercial strategy.

The report draws on figures from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, which found 44% of businesses who used mentoring reported an increase in turnover in the past 12 months, compared to 23% that didn't.

The top factors that prevent businesses from using mentoring schemes are a lack of available information about them (23%) and a lack of proof around the business impact (22%).

Brendan Flattery, CEO of Sage UK and Ireland, said widespread adoption of mentoring would have a huge impact on the UK economy by helping 4.9 million small businesses, which accounts for 99.9% of private sector companies.

“The Federation of Small Businesses states that 70% of small businesses that receive mentoring survive for five years or more, which is double the rate compared with non-mentored entrepreneurs," Flattery said.

The mentoring report accompanied Sage's launch of a mentoring programme Business Navigators, which helps small businesses connect with mentors and get the most out of the mentor/mentee relationship.