Frequently Asked Questions – Start-up Mentoring

What is mentoring?

Mentoring is most often defined as a professional relationship in which an experienced person (the mentor) supports and encourages people to develop specific skills and knowledge that will maximise their business potential, develop their skills, and improve their performance.  In short, it is the transfer of knowledge, skills and experience.  The mentor acts as an independent guide and sounding board to find the right direction and develop solutions.


Who will my mentor be?

Your mentor will be an experienced business person located within a reasonable travelling distance to your business.  Your mentor will be matched to your individual business circumstances and requirements by a Mentor Manager. Your mentor will have experience in new ventures, starting new businesses and have an understanding of the steps needed to get a new business going.


Who are the Mentor Managers and what role do they perform?

Business Mentors work with Mentor Managers.  The Mentor Manager will become your local contact from our network of Regional Business Partners spread across New Zealand.

After you register the nearest Mentor Manager will contact you within five working days to discuss your application in detail.  This is an important contact to make sure the Mentor Manager is able to match you with a mentor with the experience and skills you need.

Your Mentor Manager will contact you from time to time to follow-up with you and make sure the match is working well.  You can also contact your Mentor Manager at any time for assistance.

Is there a cost to register?

Yes clients of the Start-Up Mentoring Programme pay a $300 plus gst registration fee.  After registration the mentoring is free for up to six months, volunteered by your experienced Business Mentor.

The registration fee helps to cover the operational costs of the programme .


When will I meet my mentor?

After the Mentor Manager has matched you with a mentor the Mentor Manager will let you know and your mentor will contact you within ten working days to arrange to meet.  Meeting times and locations will be organised to suit both you and your mentor.

How often will I meet with my mentor?

During your first meeting your mentor will outline the programme and agree the approach and milestones with you to build your business plan.  Meeting frequencies and formats will be agreed between you so that your action steps can be supported and you have access to your sounding board when you need it.


How long do I have my mentor for?

Your registration with the Start-up Mentoring Programme entitles you to free mentoring for up to six months.  If you decide to proceed with your start-up venture your Start-up Mentor will encourage you to register for the Business Mentoring programme which entitles you to free mentoring for up to one year after payment of the registration fee. 


What will the mentor do?

Your mentor will work alongside you for a six month period, stepping through the  programme and supporting you to build a robust business plan.  As you work through the process your business concept or idea will be tested to make sure it is feasible and potentially sustainable.

Your Start-up mentor will guide you and help you to understand all of the key issues and risks in establishing the new business. As you build your Business Plan your mentor will help you to minimise the risks, identify all of your responsibilities, potential liabilities and accountabilities.

During the mentoring process it’s possible your mentor could form the view that your business idea is not sustainable and consider the best option is to not proceed. Ultimately the decision to go ahead and establish the business is yours to make.


How can I expect my mentor to work alongside me?

You can expect your mentor to work alongside you for a relatively intensive period and support you in the following ways:
  • Sharing resources and networks
  • Challenge you and challenge your assumptions
  • Share knowledge and life experiences
  • Provide guidance and advice
  • Listen
  • Inspire and offer encouragement
  • Be genuinely interested in questions and concerns
  • Be open and honest


What are the benefits of mentoring?

Start-up mentoring offers many benefits.  By participating in a mentoring relationship you will be able to realise the following:
  • Validation of your business idea
  • Identifying personal and financial risks
  • Identifying the legal, regulatory and other compliance frameworks you’ll need to operate in
  • Building a robust Business Plan that has a clear way forward
  • Critical feedback in key areas, such as communications, interpersonal relationships, technical abilities, change management and leadership skills
  • Having a sharper focus on what is needed to grow professionally
  • Access to a friendly ear with which to share frustrations as well as successes
  • Developing a clear outcome with confidence in the process.

Can I see an overview of the whole process?

Yes, click here to view an illustration of the Mentoring Process
Mentoring Process


Register now.

Still not sure? Call 0800 209209 or request a call back.