Owner of small cafe in Herts standing behind counter Owner of small cafe in Herts standing behind counter mobile

1-2-1 Business Mentoring

Free & Confidential 1-2-1 Business Mentoring Programme

Harness your business’ full potential by accessing free, confidential and impartial mentoring support from the Volunteer Business Support Scheme (VBSS).

The Volunteer Business Support Scheme, is a unique collaboration between the Hertfordshire Growth Hub, powered by the Hertfordshire LEP, in partnership with the University of Hertfordshire, with the aim of helping to drive greater economic prosperity and harness the potential of local SME’s enabling growth and resilience.

Specifically devised to support Hertfordshire-based micro, small and medium-sized businesses, as well as sole traders, the scheme comprises a network of enthusiastic mentors, possessing a range of different skills and expertise, including academics from the University of Hertfordshire’s Business School, experienced entrepreneurs and business professionals.

How can the Volunteer Business Support Scheme benefit my business?

Supporting SMEs and sole traders in Hertfordshire to overcome barriers to growth, the scheme aims to support businesses to re-launch or innovate products/services or adapt business models to aid recovery and navigate challenges in a post covid world.

Businesses are matched with a mentor that has relevant experience within their sector or the specific challenge they  are facing.  Mentors provide a critical ear to brainstorm ideas, help explore new opportunities, provide an injection of inspiration, coaching and guidance to help SMEs:

  • Drive productivity and innovation
  • Deliver sustainable business growth
  • Recalibrate their business strategy and direction
  • Develop and improve products and services
  • Attract new customers
  • Refresh business plans and business models
  • Consider operational improvements, including digitalisation

The Volunteer Business Support Scheme mentors have expertise in a range of areas including:

  • Branding, Marketing and PR
  • Business coaching
  • Supply chain management
  • Business development and operations
  • Commercial Strategy
  • Finance for SME’s
  • HR Support
  • Sourcing & Supply Chain Logistics
The support from my mentor has been unbelievably helpful, supportive and useful. He is unbelievably knowledgeable and has really motivated me to try new initiatives and ideas.

Claire Smith, Bespoke HR Solutions

How much support will I receive?

Businesses receive a total of up to 12 hours mentoring support.  Typically, two hours each week on average through telephone, video calls and email.  You and your mentor will decide the day, time and level of support that suits you both best. During this time mentors are on hand to offer their personal insight, listen to the challenges of your business, offer strategic and commercial guidance, share contacts, which can lead to new networking and business opportunities.

Additional Support 

  • Signposting to support packages that are available locally, regionally and nationally.
  • Access to a wealth of resources and support available through the Herts Growth Hub and partners

Access Support Today


Get ready to trade successfully this Autumn by joining VBSS, which has supported over 290 businesses like yours (link to case studies) since its launch in June 2020, providing over 1300 hours of confidential 1-2-1 business mentoring.

How do I join?

Login and you’ll be taken to the Herts Growth Hub website where you can express your interest in the scheme. Or, if you haven’t already, register with the HGH for free and explore the online Marketplace where you’ll find our Volunteer Business Support Scheme funded listing.

If you have any questions about the scheme or would like help registering, please contact us  on businesssupporters@herts.ac.uk or 07725 477278 and we’ll be happy to help you.

Case Studies

Herts IT Consultancy firm opens new markets with mentorship support from the Volunteer Business Support Scheme 

Herts IT Consultancy firm opens new markets with mentorship support from the Volunteer Business Support Scheme....

ELSA Next Generation Empowers Young People Nationwide with Support from VBSS

Looking for support to navigate a challenging landscape, Jane applied to the VBSS mentoring scheme to get her business back on track....

Volunteer Business Support Scheme helps Hertfordshire-based marketing agency evolve and thrive

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, SWW Marketing faced a sudden and large reduction in demand for their services. Interested in exploring strategic approaches to help his business, Oliver...

Wedding cake business innovates in pandemic

Wedding cake business owner, Toyin Opebiyi, found a way to pivot her business during the pandemic with the help of the Volunteer Business Support Scheme....

Volunteer with us

If you would like to mentor businesses in Hertfordshire that are struggling as a result of the pandemic, complete this form and one of our team will be in touch.