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New Zealand’s larger companies can help their SME (small/medium enterprise) counterparts through the recession by donating mentoring support.
That’s the suggestion from Business Mentors New Zealand – not-for-profit organisation that provides access to 1600 volunteer mentors and, since establishment in 1991, has helped out 49,000 companies. Its CEO Ray Schofield says donation of $1000 will enable five more New Zealand SMEs to access valuable mentoring advice and support.
“We are hoping that more (large) companies will get involved so that we can continue to provide our business mentoring service to New Zealand businesses.”
BMNZ has reported surge in small to medium companies needing business advice as result of the difficult economic environment. During the first half of 2009, mentoring requests increased by 60 percent over the same period last year.
According to Schofield, the fact that more companies are taking advantage of the service is positive move in the right direction as getting the right advice can give them higher chance of surviving the economic chill. However, the increase in mentoring enquiries comes with its own set of challenges for business mentors.
“While it is encouraging that more business owners are realising that bringing mentor on board can help them deal with these tougher times, this huge increase in demand is putting substantial strain on our own resources.
“In this country, SMEs make up 97 percent of all businesses, with 86 percent employing less than six people. These companies represent approximately 40 percent of all employees in New Zealand. They are the backbone of the New Zealand economy and it is makes social and business sense to protect, guide and nurture them.”

For more information on business mentors and how to become member patron by making donation of $1000, visit www.businessmentors.org.nz

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