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Faith Butt
Faith Butt

Press Release - 13 January 2005

Mentoring Scheme opportunity for business women

Successful business women are being invited to support other would-be female entrepreneurs by getting involved in a new mentoring scheme to be launched on 26 January 2005.

The Women into Enterprise Scheme, working in conjunction with Business Link Berkshire & Wiltshire, is looking for successful local business women to volunteer as mentors to women seeking to launch their own business.

The popular scheme, which started in October 2004 at the University of Bath in Swindon’s Oakfield Campus, provides women with free advice and guidance on how to start a business, training in entrepreneurial skills and also gives support with practical issues, such as childcare. It is funded by the European Social Fund.

The provision of a mentoring service is the natural progression as the ideas and concepts of the budding women entrepreneurs turn into trading businesses. The mentoring project is the result of co-operation between two of Swindon’s leading business women: Dr Faith Butt, Director of the University of Bath in Swindon, and Daphne Milner, CEO of Business Link Berkshire and Wiltshire.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to support and encourage local female entrepreneurs while also developing mentoring skills,” said Dr Faith Butt, Director of Oakfield Campus (pictured left). “A true mentoring relationship enriches the lives of the mentors as well as the mentees.”

All new mentors on the Scheme will be invited to attend a one-day workshop on best mentoring practice run by Business Link. The first workshop is scheduled for 26 January 2005 and mentors and mentees will then be appropriately matched. Mentors will be asked to commit to approximately 20 hours and will have the full support of Business Link and the Women into Enterprise team. In addition to the training, mentors benefit from networking opportunities through invitations to events at the Oakfield Campus.

“Business Link recognises that mentoring plays an important role in the development of business ideas and can also build confidence,” said Daphne Milner. “By acting as a sounding board, rather than an advisor, you can unlock ideas. Research shows that start-up businesses working with mentors have a stronger commercial focus and a better understanding of how to grow and develop their business to its full potential.”

If you are a local business woman interested in becoming a mentor please contact Amar Basra on 01793 328770, email: or Lesley Brooker–Smith on 01225 712302 or email: