Mentoring Supports for SMEs in Ireland


It can be a lonely road as a business owner and sometimes you just need help to tackle challenges, understand how to grow and expand both your business and as a leader, and also grow your network. A business mentor can help with this process. Here are some of the places that offer Mentoring Supports for SMEs in Ireland.

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What is Mentoring?

Business mentoring is where you, the entrepreneur, build a relationship with someone with business experience who is willing to act as a guide. Business mentors can offer guidance, support and advice to help you run your business, grow it and improve.

Here are some places that you can access mentoring supports in Ireland.

Local Enterprise Offices

Your Local Enterprise Office offers mentoring through their Mentor Programme which is open to both new and existing businesses located withìn the LEO region. This is designed to match up the knowledge, skills, insights and entrepreneurial capability of experienced business practitioners with small business owner/ managers who need practical and strategic one to one advice and guidance. The mentor contributes independent, informed observation and advice to aid decision making.

All applications for mentor assistance are dealt with individually and are preceded by a business needs analysis to assess the key needs of the business and determine the most imperative mentoring objectives.

The Role of Mentor:

  • Listen
  • Advise and provide direction
  • Help the promoter identify problems and suggest areas for improvement
  • Discuss solutions and innovative ways of improving business activity
  • Help with the decision making process
  • Share experience and knowledge
  • Provide structure and context for discussion
  • Offer assistance in compiling a business plan

Areas of involvement typically include:

  • Business Strategy
  • Financial Planning
  • Market Research
  • Marketing & Promotion
  • Production Planning
  • Distribution
  • Corporate Organisation
  • Website Planning & Design

Recommended reading: What Local Enterprise Offices Offer In Terms of Business Supports

Enterprise Ireland 

Tap into Enterprise Ireland’s network of entrepreneurs and business leaders to help you grow your business through the Enterprise Ireland Mentor Grant.

If you are a new, early stage or established business owner, they will match you with an experienced business mentor, who can help you identify and overcome obstacles to growth, providing the tailored advice, guidance and support you need to grow your business.

The Enterprise Ireland’s Mentor Network has a panel of more than 400 highly experienced business people. These are entrepreneurs, founders and senior executives with international commercial business development experience. They can offer practical advice and guidance based on their own business experience, on a one to one basis.

The EI panel of Mentors can help you with a range of business activities such as:

  • Commercialisation of new products and services
  • More targeted sales and marketing
  • Expansion into new markets
  • Strategic business planning
  • Attracting outside investment and funding options
  • Improved R & D, design, innovation, production and logistics
  • Better HR management
  • Management succession


If you are a Galway based business then you can also access mentoring through SCCUL's Bizmentors®, a programme for business owners and start-up / emerging businesses. It aims to provide free access to business expertise and wisdom to people in businesses who may otherwise have difficulty accessing such expertise.

Bizmentors® is open to new and existing businesses to help nurture and further develop new businesses. Mentoring support is available in the following areas:

  • Finance
  • Sales
  • Marketing & PR
  • IT
  • Human Resources
  • Training and Development
  • Business Planning
  • R&D
  • Quality
  • General Business Management

Recommended reading: How Mentoring Could Help Your Business

Small Business Advice

Small Business Advice is a free and confidential advice service offered by Ireland’s business community to help small businesses grow. The Small Business Advice Programme is open to both new and existing small businesses throughout the island of Ireland who generally employ 10 people or less, thought larger companies may be considered.

Through the Small Business Advice programme your company will be paired with the right advisor for your needs. The Small Business Advice programme is designed to match the knowledge, skills, insights and entrepreneurial capability of experienced business practitioners and advisors with your business. The advisor contributes independent, informed observations and advice to aid business decision making.

The Small Business Advice programme can help with:

  • Marketing & PR
  • Business Planning
  • Financial
  • HR Management
  • IT
  • Business review

Other Organisations Offering Mentoring

Other organisations that also offer mentoring support include:

  • Skillnets
  • Incubation Centres
  • As part of Enterprise Ireland New Frontiers, Going for Growth and Acorns programmes
  • Leader Groups
  • the Plato Network
  • Bord Bia
  • Udaras na Gaeltacht
  • Western Development Commission
  • Teasgasc


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