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Volunteer With Us

What is the Volunteer Business Support Scheme?

The pandemic and Brexit transition has created significant economic uncertainty, keeping business owners awake at night as demand disappeared, and growth plans were knocked off course. Hertfordshire has been no exception, with huge increases in demand from businesses seeking support. To respond to this need, Hertfordshire Growth Hub, powered by the Hertfordshire LEP, in partnership with the University of Hertfordshire devised the Volunteer Business Support Scheme, a free and confidential 1-2-1 mentoring programme.

Since the scheme launched in June 2020, our network of over 50 mentors have supported more than 190 businesses, providing over 600 hours of 1-2-1 support. Due to its success and excellent feedback, the scheme has been extended until November 2021, to support even more businesses.

What can I expect as a volunteer?

Your role as a mentor is to support your allocated business through the challenges they are facing, by acting as a critical friend and coach to talk to, explore new ideas with and provide feedback. This is through telephone, video call and email.

We encourage our mentors and the businesses they are supporting to work together flexibly and decide on a day, time and level of support that suits you both. Mentors on the scheme have dedicated approximately two weeks a week.

You will need to sign our volunteer agreement and attend an induction session to understand the scheme process with training on coaching, mentoring, effective signposting and referrals. We’ll also provide ongoing support to you throughout the duration of the scheme, should you require it.

"When I first met Oliver, his business was facing a market downturn due to a decline in client activity, and he felt unsupported in a time of sudden uncertainty. Through VBSS, we worked to identify how to build a value proposition among his existing customer portfolio with the aim of expanding it. To achieve this,

Paul Eysink

Volunteer Business Support Scheme Mentor

“Paul has been amazing! He came in after an incredibly tough year and helped us think through processes and structures that have already transformed the way we work and have led us to secure new work – I feel very lucky to have had his input which has transformed our business.”

Oliver Smith

Owner, SWW Marketing

“John has really been inspirational. Not only that, he has provided me with some pragmatic solutions that I can apply in my business right now.”

Karen Anderson

Owner, Bramble & Blossom

“Helen has been so supportive and amazing. She has helped me identify my strengths and create and implement products and services around this, which we will be launching over the next few months. The VBSS scheme has been unbelievably valuable.”

Claire Bruce

Managing Director, Bespoke HR Solutions

“Roma is an absolutely fabulous addition to my week; my company, was in crisis during these strange times and Roma has been able to motivate and keep me on track with future plans for ELSA”

Jane Shipley

Founder, ELSA Education

Register your interest

Complete the form below to express your interest in joining the Volunteer Business Support Scheme.

Get free support for your business

If you are interested in benefitting from the scheme, you can find out more about the support that is available here.

Case Studies

VBSS Mentor Spotlight: Corinna Hartwig

The Volunteer Business Support Scheme (VBSS) has attracted many high calibre mentors to its network since it was launched in June 2020. This includes Corinna Hartwig, who has been a...

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....