Search on for Gladstone’s business mentors

Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development The Honourable Di Farmer

Gladstone's Michael Walz, CEO of Apprentices and Trainees Queensland and volunteer business mentor said it was a rewarding program for both mentors and mentees.

The search is on for business, industry and export specialists who can volunteer as Gladstone’s newest business mentors, with registrations closing at the end of October.

Minister for Employment and Small Business Di Farmer said the impact of COVID-19 was being felt by small businesses in Gladstone and across the state, and that experienced business professionals could help guide them.

“We know that the best thing we can do for small businesses is keep our economy growing, do everything we can to ensure any lockdowns are short and sharp, and keep them open and trading,” Minister Farmer said.

“Our strong health response has allowed us to do that, and of course we are now on a huge vaccination push so we can open up to interstate travellers.”

“However, we know the impact of COVID-19 is being felt, which is why we’ve provided a range of financial support and put backing small business at the heart of our $14.5 COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan.”

Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Minister for Water, and Member for Gladstone, Glenn Butcher said the government was on the lookout for more of Queensland’s brightest business minds to help small business owners.

“What businesses sometimes really need is that one on one mentoring, someone who can walk alongside them and help with specific challenges and opportunities,” Mr Butcher said.

“That’s where our Mentoring for Growth program comes in. It’s a free program for Queensland small businesses that provides access to a state-wide pool of mentors who are matched to businesses based on their skills and knowledge,”

“In the last financial year, 95 per cent of mentees said that their business reported a projected increase in either employment, turnover or profitability following their session.

“With more businesses seeking advice as they adapt to new ways of operating, more mentors are needed across the state including here in Gladstone.”

Mentoring for Growth is part of the Palaszczuk Government’s Big Plans for Small Business Strategy and helps small business grow by increasing skills, capability, and identifying opportunities.

Gladstone’s Michael Walz, CEO of Apprentices and Trainees Queensland and volunteer business mentor said it was a rewarding program for both mentors and mentees.

“I enjoy being involved in business development stages from start-up, to growth and sale or succession and felt mentoring would be an excellent opportunity to share my hands-on experience and help other business owners,” Mr Walz said.

“The vast array of businesses, business ideas, and owners in Queensland is incredible.

“It has been inspiring to see the progress of a business in a growth phase and personally enriching to know you have helped someone else in their journey.”

Mr Butcher encouraged other business owners in Gladstone to get involved in mentoring.

“I encourage experienced businessmen and women who know what it’s like to start and grow a business, or who have a specific skillset they can share – just like Michael – to contribute to the success of other Gladstone businesses and nominate to be a mentor,” Mr Butcher said.

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