The Business Mentoring MeetUp group has been supporting entrepreneurs like her for just over 4 years now. We usually meet at the Print Room Cafe at UCL once a week on a Thursday evening to help anyone interested in entrepreneurship. Offline we organise free sessions with Accountants, Lawyers, Marketers, Business Planning specialists along with posting invites to free events across London. The idea has been to help make it easy for entrepreneurs to work through the first phase of their business.
I remember my first time setting up a business in the dot.com days. It was a living hell at times. Everywhere you went you had to pay first only to find out that you didn’t need the support in the first place. Now thanks to the support providers who are willing to offer their support on a freemium basis. We help entrepreneurs understand and clarify their needs before they pay anything.
We were one of the first meetup groups in London to organise support like this for entrepreneurs. We took a narrow approach and focused only on business mentoring. This allowed us to structure the meetings in a way that supported that aim. And, we took a professional approach by using the EMCC Code of Ethics. This allowed us to build a positive reputation early on. For example, when the Korean President was visiting London in 2013. The UKTI approached us to organise Business Mentoring Support for the accompanying Korean Startups. The Korean Startups wanted to experience British style of business support. We invited 8 Professional Business Mentors to Google Campus in Tech City. We spent half a day working with the Korean Tech Startups. Over time we have also generated a free online business knowledge base. It helps to educate entrepreneurs globally. These kinds of feathers in our caps have become common.
We feel what makes all the effort worth our while are the people like Alyona. Who are highly motivated, have a strong passion and are committed. They need some support to get started. Seeing entrepreneurs like her build successful businesses makes all the effort worthwhile.
So on our 4th Birthday. I would ask you to thank all the professional support providers. They voluntarily offer their time to help foster entrepreneurship in the London area. Offering all this support during one of the deepest down turns on record.
These professional support providers are Gerry Creedon, Kim Dolman, Kassim Gaffar, Brendon Christian, Phillipa Seal, Pavel Khan, Tony Gimple, Paul Kemp and his wife/ business manager Diane Dupree and the other mentors who come by on an ad hoc basis.
This post has been edited with the support of the London Business Journal.