The Victorian government has launched a small business mentoring service in a bid to help businesses navigate a path out of the coronavirus crisis.
Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Wednesday that the Victoria Chamber of Commerce Industry (VCCI) would be administering a program that will provide up to four two-hour mentoring sessions for eligible businesses across Victoria.
The mentoring sessions will be held with an experienced professional who will help you make informed decisions about the future of your business.
The program offers tailored guidance on:
- Business recovery – to strengthen business recovery (cost reduction, debt and cashflow management)
- Market transformation – to understand how coronavirus (COVID-19) has triggered or accelerated market changes
- Digital literacy and engagement – to help businesses reach new customers and markets
- Market and supply chain diversification – to reduce exposure to supply chain risks
- Reskilling and retraining – to help businesses upskill their existing workforce.
Applicants will be asked to complete a brief diagnostic tool designed to assess the specific needs of their business recovery and then eligible business owners will be matched with an experienced professional. They will then provide them with one-on-one mentoring sessions over a period of 3 months, conducted either by phone, video conference or, when appropriate face-to-face.
Following the initial session, applicants will be provided with a detailed action plan, with advice specifically tailored to the individual needs of their business.
Applicants will also be connected with further support for their business as needed. This may include financial counselling, digital expertise and coaching, and mental health support and training.
The benefits of this program for businesses may be:
- build customised strategies for recovery, market transformation, digital literacy, supply chain diversification and upskilling of existing employees
- mitigate risks and financial exposure
- connect to other government support and local professional services
The program is open to the owners of small businesses with less than 20 full-time employees. For the purposes of the program, a small business owner can be a sole trader, partnership, private company or trust that operates a small business. Twenty full-time employees means the total of all standard hours worked by all employees (whether full-time or part-time) in standard hours as defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Businesses must also:
- hold an active Australian Business Number (ABN)
- not be a public company, charitable business (one that does not operate to make a profit) or body corporate under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997
- intend to re-establish or continue operating in Victoria.
Registrations for the free business mentoring sessions are now open for both businesses and prospective mentors.
For more information and to apply, head to the link below.