As part of our commitment to supporting and developing women in business, Forward Ladies has launched the #PayItForward mentoring programme. This exciting new Forward Ladies members’ resource sees winners from our regional and national Women in Business Awards reaching out to women attending our monthly regional Power Business Breakfast Club networks and providing a 10-15 minute presentation on their personal business journey followed by a “speed mentoring” session, in which they will provide focused one-to-one mentoring to premium members who have pre-booked an appointment with them.

Both our award winners and the women attending our monthly networking sessions are drawn from a diverse business background, ranging from start-ups to large SMEs and we want to help both mentors and mentees in getting the most out of the Pay It Forward programme.

Who can you expect to be your Mentor?

Rebbeca McCann - Founder of Pro Blo Group

Our first speed mentoring programme took place in Manchester with our Young Entrepreneur winner Rebecca McCann, who has had outstanding success with her business Pro Blo Group. Her product, CurlME by Pro Blo is now the celebrity tool used by Michelle Keegan and is used backstage on Strictly Come Dancing and has been featured in Vogue. In less than 18 months, her business has expended into Europe and launched a franchise in the United Emirates. She talked about her success and passed on her tips through her one-toone speed mentoring sessions with our members.  Our first of many Pay It Forward sessions was a great success!

Sally Penni - Barrister at Kenworthys Chambers

Sally Penni was one of our finalists in the 2015 Forward Ladies National Women in  Business Awards, and is a practicing barrister at law and non-executive director of global software company Codethink  Ltd. She aims to inspire women in business and is the joint vice chair of the Association of Women Barristers and also set up Women in Law – a collaborative organisation to provide mentors for women, making her perfect for our PayitForward scheme.

Alexa Greaves - Managing Director at AAG Systems

Alexa is the national SME Growth category winner and Overall Business Woman of the Year at the Forward Ladies National Women in Business Awards 2015.

Alexa Greaves graduated from Bradford University with a degree in Business Studies. After spending the summer working in Sweden in the hospitality industry she then began her career working at Chemical Bank in the foreign exchange market. After setting up AAG Finance in 2002 she moved to Sheffield with her 2 children. In 2009 she started AAG Systems which invested in a group of individuals who had found themselves out of work due to the failure of their previous employer. This venture took her into a very male dominated and technical marketplace. AAG now employs over 40 people all within 7 years.

Alexa hasn’t stopped there. AAG is a provider of cutting edge services and solutions, the latest being custom made mobile devices.

More mentors to be added soon!

What is the Benefit to Mentees?

Mentoring can be hugely helpful to business people. Whilst the mentoring experience can help mentees in a wide variety of ways, here are just some of the key benefits:

  • Discussing particular business issues with a mentor can assist in clarifying the best way forward
  • A mentor can assist in the process of prioritising business issues
  • Taking a conversation about work out of the immediate business arena can help to put it into context and proportion and a mentor can bring a fresh perspective to an entrenched issue
  • Talking to a great business mentor who provides praise where it is due, can help you to value your business strengths, whilst recognising areas in which you could improve your business performance
  • A mentor can help to introduce you to new business contacts and provide credibility to you when you are making new, important, business connections

How does Pay It Forward work?

In advance of each monthly Power Business Breakfasts Forward Ladies will publicise any Pay It Forward speaker and mentoring sessions that will be taking place at forthcoming business breakfasts.

The format for the mentoring will be the same each time: a Forward Ladies National Women in Business Regional or National winner will give a 10-15 minute presentation on their own business journey and will then participate in a brief Q&A session at the end of the session. Following this the winner will then make herself available for a sit down, ten minute one-to-one speed mentoring session with Forward Ladies’ members who have pre-booked their mentoring slots. Each relevant business breakfast will offer a maximum of six speed mentoring slots and these will be allocated on a first come, first served basis to members.

Forward Ladies is not providing supervision of the mentoring sessions or making any assurances or representations as to the quality of the mentoring provided. Mentors are offering to talk and then provide a maximum of 6 one-to-one speed mentoring sessions without making a charge for their time and no contract exists between the mentor and the mentee, nor does any contract exist between Forward Ladies and the mentor or Forward Ladies and the mentee.

Mentoring can be hugely beneficial to both mentors and mentees. If this is the first time that you have either been a mentor or a mentee then build on the experience and consider whether it is something you would like to do again. If both mentor and mentee are happy to continue the conversation, exchange business cards and agree to meet up again in the future – it could be the start of a great business relationship that benefits both of you!

Just remember to book both your Breakfast Club ticket and your Pay It Forward ticket (free to Premium Members).

The Pay It Forward Programme is exclusively for our Premium Members only.

Sign up here