Nesta launches mentoring scheme for creative businesses

The Nesta Creative Business Mentoring Network (CBMN) is designed to help the UK's most exciting businesses from the creative sector realise their potential by matching them up with industry experts such as Charles Wace, CEO of Twofour Group and Andy Payne, CEO of Appynation.

A 2010 pilot project run by Nesta, the UK's Inovation Foundation, found a strong link between business mentoring and future business success with 95% of businesses in the pilot scheme reporting increased confidence. A notable 85% had improved networks and contacts, and profitability was improved for 53% of companies.

Creative businesses from the film, TV, advertising, digital media and gaming sectors are invited to apply online for a place at  www.nesta.org.uk/cbmn.

"Access to the experience and expertise of the industry's top performers on a personal basis is a fantastic catalyst in the development of creative businesses," says Jon Kingsbury, director of creative economy programmes at Nesta. "We believe that mentoring is one of the best ways for creative businesses to acquire the skills and confidence they need to thrive."

One mentor Patrick McKenna, the CEO of Ingenious Media, welcomes the initiative. "The UK has a world-leading cultural and creative industry and the volunteer mentors involved with this programme are very keen to play their part in ensuring the next generation of world-beaters is able to succeed," he says. "I am pleased to be involved with the CBMN and alongside my mentoring peers, we look forward to working with the future stars of our industry."

Thirty businesses will be chosen from across the UK to work with one of the CBMN mentors. Over a six to twelve month period the volunteer mentors will work with their mentee business leaders in ten, two-hour sessions

The closing date for applications is 13 September at 11am. The mentors and companies will be matched in September and mentoring will begin in October.

For more information and to see a full list of the mentors, click here.

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