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Mentor job specification

The primary goal of a mentor is to build sustainable, trusting relationships with mentees in order to enhance their ability to start, maintain and grow their businesses.

The role of a mentor

Mentoring activities are undertaken through a range of channels including face-to-face meetings (one-to-one or group), telephone discussions and email exchanges.

Mentors are required to:

  • engage with mentees to agree how mentoring could support their prospective or existing business
  • engage with mentees from across the mentoring organisation’s market
  • agree a programme of mentoring activity that best meets the needs of their mentee
  • encourage their mentee to express and discuss their ideas, concerns and understanding of the business situation facing them
  • help mentees to review their progress and set realistic and practical options to realise their goals
  • help mentees to reflect on and learn from things that did not turn out as expected
  • refer mentees to other sources of information, advice or further support when appropriate
  • encourage mentees to take responsibility for their own decisions, plans and actions
  • present a positive image of business mentoring and follow the code of practice for the organisation being represented
  • keep up-to-date and accurate records of mentee contact

Mentor competencies

The mentor needs to possess or develop the following competencies in order to undertake the mentoring role effectively:



  • Excellent communication skills to include active listening and personal presentation skills
  • Effective time management
  • Relationship building and networking
  • Personal development
  • Maintaining records and preparing written reports


  • Risk management – personal and business related
  • People development
  • Influencing and negotiation

Knowledge and understanding


  • The difference between the role of a mentor and the role of other business support professionals e.g. coach, adviser or consultant
  • The code of ethics/conduct for mentoring as set by the organisation being represented
  • Rules on confidentiality and data protection and how to follow them
  • The mentoring process to include the mentoring agreement/contract entered into with the organisation being represented
  • The mentoring relationship and the importance of using the most effective communication methods to create a productive mentoring environment
  • How a business works (essential enterprise know-how)

Personal behaviours


Mentors should have the ability to:

  • Respect the mentee’s need for information, commitment and confidentiality
  • Listen and respond effectively and check understanding
  • Adapt their personal style to empathise with a whole range of mentees
  • Build and maintain rapport over sustained periods of time
  • Invite a two-way exchange of information and feedback with mentees and others
  • Display excellent interpersonal skills to include influencing and negotiation
  • Take a flexible approach to work
  • Be emotionally resilient and be able to work in a challenging environment


  • Successful hands-on professional expertise in key business areas including marketing, sales, law, finance/accounting, HR, IT, customer service, research, imports/exports