Women in Business Less Afraid to Ask For Help Says Business Mentors NZ

Women in business are increasingly asking for help with growing their companies leaving their male counterparts floundering in their wake, according to Business Mentors New Zealand (BMNZ), the country’s only national volunteer business mentoring service.

Lisa Ford, BMNZ National Agency Manager says: `We are seeing an increase in the proportion of women signing up for the mentoring programme, which is part of a discernible trend among New Zealand SMEs. Businesswomen and younger entrepreneurs seem to find it easier to ask for help. But your typical Kiwi guy won’t ask for the help that could help him take his company to the next level.’

Business Mentors New Zealand helps around 250 businesses find a mentor every month and has assisted more than 65,000 small to medium-size enterprise owners in New Zealand in the last 22 years. Business Mentors provides access to over 1,900 volunteer mentors (who give their experience, skill and knowledge free of charge). The $150 registration fee allows mentoring for up to two years.

Lisa Ford explains: `Our registration desk often reports that a businessman’s wife or partner has got in touch to arrange a business mentor because they can see the business is in need of extra support to grow. Women are by nature much more collaborative and ready to seek out advice and support when they need it. Many guys simply soldier on regardless. Our message is that some of the most successful companies in the country have got where they are today with the help of a business mentor. It’s something they really should be proud of doing. None of us knows everything and it’s the smart guys who know when to pull in an expert advisor.’

BMNZ measures the success of its mentoring programme with an independent client satisfaction survey. The last available figures for In 2012/2013 show that  recommendation of the service has improved by 2% since the beginning of the financial year, reaching an all time high of 95% during the last four-month survey period of December 2012 to March 2013.

Of those who responded to the survey 19% of businesses were novice business, 33% had been in business for 1-3 years and 48% were established (4+ years). Principal Industries serviced were Retail Trade (14%), Personal & Other Services (12%), Manufacturing (10%), Construction (10%), and Health & Community Services (8%).


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