• Mentoring

    Oxford Brookes Enterprise Support is looking to facilitate mentoring and coaching to assist early-stage business owners, social entrepreneurs, or others who have genuinely shown a desire to put a project into action.

    The mentoring programme which is primarily aimed at our students and recent graduates, would be geared towards entrepreneurs that have genuinely committed to the early stages of start-up and project development. These participants would be specially selected by the Enterprise Support team and will initially be from previous OBSEA or Business Plan Competition award winners; Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa holders; or teams and individuals that have demonstrated that they are at a stage where mentoring would be beneficial to them and their project.

    The objective of the mentoring programme would be to give the entrepreneur the support and encouragement to advance their business and project development.

    The mentors would be entrepreneurs, business people, and experts selected from our business contacts at Enterprise Support, who have expressed an interest in mentoring.


    This scheme would act on top of any other support currently available from Oxford Brookes.

    There would be no cost for this extra support.

    The purpose of mentoring is to support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person

    (Parsloe, 2000)

    Programme Expectations: Key events and Time commitments

    Date Event and Deadlines
    Wednesday 4 October Launch Event – informal meet-up/briefing session
    October Formal Pairing of Mentors and Mentees
    November First meetings between Mentor and Mentees
    December Deadline for Mentee making first contact with the Mentor
    Continued meetings between Mentor and Mentees
    Christmas Celebration
    January Continued meetings between Mentor and Mentees
    Review session with Programme Co-ordinator
    February Continued meetings between Mentor and Mentees
    March Continued meetings between Mentor and Mentees
    April Continued meetings between Mentor and Mentees
    May Assessment and conclusion of the programme
    What next?

    How will the programme work?

    Mentors have been recruited on personal recommendation by members of Oxford Brookes Enterprise Support and their colleagues. Programme induction will offer insights into the nature of mentoring, the boundaries associated with mentoring and effectivementoring skills.

    The Commitment Involved

    Participation in the programme is voluntary for both the mentor and the mentee. However, once participants enter a mentor-mentee relationship, we do have some guidelines:

    • Participants should maintain the relationship for 7 - 8 months (October – April/May).
    • It is assumed that once the relationship has been entered into, there will be periodic and relevant contact between the mentor and mentee. As a guideline, it is recommended that there are monthly meetings, as well as other contact in between. A minimum of 4 meetings during the relationship would be expected. Therefore, for each mentee we would expect roughly 10-12 hours of contact /support. This could be face to face but it could be done by Skype or over the phone at mutually convenient times.
    • Mentors may offer support to more than one mentee but the commitment must be manageable for all parties and not become a burden.  Two/three mentees is an optimal number as there may be some advantage of holding the occasional group discussion sessions.
    • Expectations, preferred contact, boundaries, frequency and length of relationship should be established at the outset.
    • Confidentiality agreement - mentors and mentees should identify any areas of confidentiality at the outset of the relationship
    • Regular contact should be made and recorded between mentor, mentee and the Programme Co-ordinator. A record of meetings and actions agreed should be kept and a simple template provided. 

    It is not expected that the mentor provides: hands-on support, counselling, urgent support, an offer of a job, a demand for equity, or canvasses for work.

    Programme Evaluation

    There will be an interim and final evaluation conducted by the Programme Coordinator, and it is requested that all mentees and mentors participate and give honest feedback as to the benefits and changes needed in the programme. Continual feedback is critical to the improvement of the programme.