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In this section you will be able to view each Mentors Profile, download our How to Get the Most from Mentor Meetings guide and compare all the individual mentor industry expertise, at a glance, on our Mentor Skills Matrix.

Click on the + sign next to a mentor’s name to see their profile, photograph, and contact details.

Adam Whittaker

Adam Whittaker

Adam is a marketing and social media strategy specialist, workshop facilitator, mentor and coach with 20+ years of marketing and communications experience.

He works with people of all ages who have recently set up a business or are looking to do so, offering advice on optimal ways with which they can promote their business both on and offline as well as helping steer overall business and personal development.

Having worked as a NHS Marketing and Communications Manager and now holding a portfolio of private clients, Adam has a wealth of experience of a huge range of industry sectors and delivers workshops across the UK for organisations including Lloyds Bank, The Chamber of Commerce, People Plus and in an independent capacity.

His personable and approachable style is borne out of an understanding and experience of setting up his own successful consultancy business.


Adele Bryant

Adele Bryant

Adele has over 20 years of designing, launching, and marketing products and services across a range of industries and sectors.

She is an advocate for enterprise and entrepreneurship and consults with professional bodies to improve the support available for start-up and growing businesses.

She is particularly keen to enrich the experiences felt by new entrepreneurs and is passionate about building both personal leadership and business skills as a way of creating success.

Adele’s depth and breath of experience means that she is insightful and approachable, whilst also being able to challenge and encourage business owners to achieve ambitious goals.


Ashley Gurr

Ashley Gurr

What can you contribute to a pre-start entrepreneur over the first year in business?

As an experienced Business Lawyer, I have advised many businesses over the years, ranging from Start-Ups through to larger organisations with multi-million-pound turnovers. I have also launched and managed successful businesses myself and therefore I am well-placed to be able to advise you on the practical steps you need to take to set up and thrive in business.

Areas of Speciality/Methods of Mentoring Style:

I have an approachable manner and look forward to hearing about your business idea and working together to make it a success. I am happy to work with you across the following areas (amongst others):-

  • Business idea / model formulation
  • Cashflow projection
  • Pricing
  • SWOT analysis
  • Marketing planning
  • Social media strategy
  • Growth planning including real estate and HR considerations

Business Sector(s):
I have particular experience of working with businesses in the following sectors (amongst others):-

  • E-Commerce
  • Recruitment
  • Professional Services
  • Real Estate
  • Education & Training
  • Hospitality & Events

Past Mentor Experience with Pre-Start/New Start:

In addition to the many businesses I have acted for over the years in my professional capacity as a Business Lawyer, I also run an organisation which specialises in providing business and legal training for Pre-Start-Ups and Start-Ups.

Past Work Experience:
I graduated with a degree in Management from Royal Holloway, University of London in 2003. I qualified as a Solicitor in 2008 and since then I have worked both in private practice and also in-house for two different UK PLCs.

I launched my own niche law firm in 2012, which specialised in Commercial and Employment Law. Following a period of growth, I merged my practice with a larger firm, whereupon I became Partner and Head of Commercial. Following a takeover in 2018, I became a Consultant Solicitor enabling me time to work on other projects that interest me, including this Mentoring Scheme.

Telephone: 01527 68589
Email address:

Bernard Clarke

Bernard Clarke

Bernard is experienced at establishing and leading business. In a career that has included senior roles in the private sector, academia and charities he has amassed a wealth of knowledge to share. His qualifications include a MSc in Business Management and he is a member of the Institute of Directors.

Since 2010, he has co-led a consultancy (Know and Do Ltd) specialising in inspiring and enabling business leaders to succeed. Clients come from a wide range of sectors and industries, many lead companies that provide B2B services, and he particularly values giving time to social entrepreneurs. He has supported numerous new business leaders through training, mentoring and coaching across the UK.

His mentoring style is relaxed, informal but insightful; seeking to build the confidence and capability of those he works with. Clients feedback that he is a calming influence, listens intently and has a way of asking the right questions to make sense of what can be a frenetic, unpredictable time when leading a young business.

Mentoring is an active process and in each session Bernard shares with mentees practical information, templates and techniques to take away and apply in their business. He is comfortable thinking strategically and grounding plans in measurable action.

Contact Bernard to discuss what you need from a mentor and book an appointment.

Telephone: 07507 328269

Christine Gilbert

Christine Gilbert


Energetic, challenging, passionate, enthusiastic, insightful, results oriented, fun, light, informal, clear, intuitive, open, supportive, encouraging.


  • Experienced business professional with 20-year commercial track record
  • Transformational approach, inspiring people and businesses to create positive change
  • Highly energetic facilitator who engages and motivates people to contribute and take action
  • Engagement; builds trust, confidence and rapport to enable others to achieve success and results
  • Inspires an innovative approach generating enthusiasm and ideas that make a positive impact
  • Focused on building long term relationships with clients to deliver agreed outcomes
  • Builds leadership competence through self-awareness and insight, integrating this knowledge in a team and business environment
  • Philosophy that great fun makes business enjoyable and exciting

Christine trained as a Coach over 15 years ago and has her own business facilitating a broad range of clients to grow and develop.


Leadership and management, vision and strategy, goal setting, coaching, sales, new product development, project management.


David Andrews


David is a very experienced marketing and product development practitioner. He is the former CEO of the Yorkshire Tourist Board. David has been working in tourism and hospitality for over 30 years. David is a passionate advocate of the need for outstanding customer service and the impact it has on business and brand loyalty. Key is to understand the customer, continuously innovating and improving. He has provided marketing and management training predominately for SME’s, but also local authorities, and other public agencies. David is also a lecturer at Leeds Beckett University and leads the module on Entrepreneurial Marketing and International Tourism Operations.

Since leaving YTB in 2008, he has run his own tourism consultancy (Andrews Associates), customer service training (Welcometraining) and has worked with many SME businesses and organisations in in the UK and overseas to provide training, as well as providing consultancy to the sector to improve their business performance, marketing and brand development.

Telephone: 07711 067074

David Lane

Dave Lane

Hi, I’m Dave Lane and I’ve been a business adviser for over 15 years working mainly with charities, social enterprises and start–up entrepreneurs. I’m a SFEDI accredited advisor with social enterprise as a specialism.

In my career I’ve held senior management positions in large charities and ran several businesses. I’m currently the Managing Director of Development in Social Enterprise and Financial Director of Chelmund’s Community Enterprises which established the first community owned chip shop in England. In addition to these roles I am a Trustee of a small charity and a non-executive director of Gro-Organic CIC.

As a mentor I aim to inspire and bring this varied experience and knowledge to help you to reach your business and enterprise goals. I will support and challenge you to ensure you develop your skills to succeed in business.

Whilst any business needs many similar skills and has similar challenges during its formative years, I’m particularly interested in supporting entrepreneurs who aim to set up a social enterprise or values–based business.

My expertise:

  • Legal structures and incorporation
  • Legislation and legal responsibilities
  • Business modelling
  • Developing sound financial plans and forecasts
  • Developing realistic business plans
  • Impact measurement and monitoring (social value)

Telephone: 07889 773 182 / 0121 667 6810

David Lowe

David Lowe

David’s core area of expertise is business strategy and planning. He has run his own Business Consulting and Coaching Company since 2003, and he is highly regarded in the Coaching and Mentoring community both locally and regionally.

He is an excellent business partner for anyone seeking to benefit from a powerful combination of objective insight and sound practical experience, and he is a first class problem solver who possesses a rare ability to assimilate wide ranging information and either add strategic value to it, or simply apply it to solve practical day to day difficulties.

David is also a good listener who can bring objectivity, experience, and a comprehensive tool kit of transferable skills and abilities to almost any business situation.

He possesses wide ranging business know-how and experience which spans a number of sectors. This includes practical experience of actually managing, growing, and directing a truly diverse range of small businesses, as well as having worked within the larger and more corporate world.

David is a Staffordshire University business graduate (1991), who has successfully helped a large number of SME’s to both grow and to innovate; and he has mentored many senior managers and directors across Staffordshire and the West Midlands to develop both themselves and their businesses.

He was designated by Grant Thornton as an ‘Enhanced Coach’ under the government’s last national flagship scheme for business support – ‘The Business Growth Service’, which ran to March 2016. David has also worked with the Manufacturing Advisory service.

In early 2017 David became an “Entrepreneur in Residence” at Keele University Management School – Mercia Centre for Innovation Leadership. Here David helps participant companies to address the distinctive organisational and leadership challenges for their innovation-led businesses.

Whatever the project or task, David applies his trademark energy, enthusiasm, focus, and commitment to make a real difference. He is extremely credible and will rise to any challenge with utmost professionalism.

Telephone: 07803 172665

Fiona Wilson

Fiona Wilson

Fiona has over 20 years experience working in business and education. She has set up and run her own successful creative business (Fiona Wilson Prints) for the last 10 years, making and selling her work through shops and galleries, online and at curated art events.

Alongside this Fiona is the Course Leader for the award winning BA (Hons) Surface Pattern Design course at Staffordshire University.

She has mentored and taught 100s of creatives to develop their professional and entrepreneurial skills. Fiona can help you with the practicalities of setting up your business, pricing products, marketing and branding, creating a product range and selling and approaching shops to gain business.


“There are few creative business women who are as engaging and supportive of other creatives as Fiona, selfless in sharing her success and pitfalls, generous in her openness encouragement and professional knowlewdge and skills.” S. Peart, Designer Maker

Past Work Experience

  • Business Development Manager
  • Sales and Marketing Manager
  • Buyer

Websites: /
Instagram: @fionacw1 and @gingerbeerfactory
Telephone: 07811 211906

Iftikar Karim

Iftikar Karim

Hello, this is Iftikar Karim I am social entrepreneur and I have spent the last 25 years working within and being inspired by organisations that wish to make their communities better places and make positive environmental, social and economic impacts.

Most recently I have set up from scratch the first wood recycling community business in the Black Country which is now diverting over 110 tonnes of waste wood from going into landfill and upcycling most of this waste wood into high products see: . Social enterprise and community businesses are real business and create worthwhile jobs, training and volunteering opportunities.

I am a SFEDI accredited business advisor and have mentored the development and growth of numerous social enterprises and community businesses around the country, I can provide you with mentoring support on:

Prefeasibility and feasibility studies to explore and refine your business idea, testing the viability of the business idea through initial trading or other means

  • Identifying early stage financial and other support
  • Choosing the right legal structure and exploring related advantages and disadvantages
  • Choosing and making best use of the right business planning and financial planning tools
  • Understanding social impact and the resulting social value that your community or social business will create focusing this as a competitive advantage.

I work by sharing insights and experiences from the many trail blazing social businesses that we have in this country – all providing tremendous inspiration and insight into how the power of community businesses can be used to make long term positive impacts to communities and people’s lives.

Telephone: 01902 877530 or 07769 647647

Jaan Scott


As a Mentor

I’ll be encouraging you to concentrate on those activities that create value for you, your business and your customers. Acting as an advocate for your development I’ll be looking to do that by offering a sounding board to bounce your thoughts and concerns off, as well as offering a second opinion from within a supportive environment focused on your success.

My knowledge, skills and abilities are at your disposal and I’ll be there to offer support whenever you need it. We’ll talk about how you plan to get from where you are now to where you want to be, and I can share my personal insights about experiences you may encounter on that journey. No matter whether you have a clear strategic view, a formalised business plan or just a vision and a great idea, don’t worry I’ll work hard to provide the right support for you to guide you and encourage you in equal measure.

Every mentor / mentee relationship is unique, and I will be looking to find ways to challenge how you think and also give you the confidence to take action and make decisive changes in your business. I’m open to sharing my skills, knowledge and expertise and I value the experience I can get from a successful mentoring partnership.


As a student of Textile Technology I began my career in Fashion, after a few years I diversified into the Technical Textiles sector where I established my own international businesses in advanced engineered materials.

Market Knowledge

  • Medical Devices – Wound care, Compression Therapy, Orthopaedic consumables
  • Composites – Carbon prepregs, Resin Transfer Moulding, Vacuum bag processing
  • PPE – NBC (Nuclear, Biological & Chemical) protection, fire proximity materials
  • Automotive – PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) fuel cells, spacer fabrics, interior trim
  • Industrial – Phase Change Materials, Smart Fabrics

To explore whether I might be a match for your mentorship needs you can contact me at any time.

Telephone: 07580 145247

John Griffiths

John Griffiths

John has 25 years’ experience of running a successful advisory business and has advised well over 200 clients. As well as being successful at establishing and managing successful businesses, he has advised start-up companies as well as established organisations at a particularly challenging time. John also advises numerous government organisations such as the NHS, local and central government and governments overseas. John’s business has been accredited to a large number of government frameworks and quality standards such as ISO9001-2015.

John supports:

  • Health care organisations including the NHS
  • Private healthcare
  • Local & central government
  • Education
  • Professional services
  • Technological companies
  • Hotels
  • Charitable & non-profit making organisations

John is currently voluntary supporting SE Staffordshire Citizens Advice as Chair and is a committee member of Birchfield Harriers. He has also been a Governor of an “Outstanding” School Academy in which he helped to establish and has chaired numerous committees such as Finance and Discipline.

Or call his office and speak to Dawn Bond on 01543 560280

Karen Kirby

Karen Kirby


Over 12 years experience in helping new and existing businesses grow.   I have supported over 300 businesses ranging from blue chip companies & SMEs, to start-ups. 

Points of difference 

We don’t just advise on WHAT to do, we help you develop your skills that can be used forever. Everything we do is about creating measurable results, we have even won awards for our approach to helping businesses! 

Specialist areas & personality

Marketing, Branding, Sales, Business Growth, Results, Social Media, PR, Marketing Material, Market Development, Passionate, Lively, Efficient, Qualified, Budgeting, Funding, Web Development, Effective, Google, Strategy 

Mentoring Approach: I have a fun, flexible approach so that each entrepreneur is able to make the most of our time together. I apply the correct tools, to support any skill level, to meet varied objectives, around their other commitments. 

Company: Fresh Marketing Solutions
Telephone: 07889 923948

Kyran Parker

Kyran Parker

Kyran is a highly experienced education and training professional. Throughout his career he has developed skills and abilities to build comprehensive influencer relationships and strategic partnerships to drive new business. A sound decision maker, with the ability to understand corporate critical success factors and to deliver decisions in a controlled, confident and effective manner.

Good commercial awareness, with a keen eye for an opportunity and the ability to implement and deliver via enhanced market share and increased sales. By nature, he carries out his work with passion and belief, with a tenacious determination to achieve. His skills and abilities have been developed in the private and public sectors, in educational contact management and delivery for diverse income streams, including Apprenticeship, Workplace Learning, Commercial, Worklessness and ESF. A member of the Institute of Directors.

Telephone: 07982 678017

Liz Rowlands

Liz Rowlands

A commercially astute business leader with a wealth of transferable skills gained from public and private sectors. Experienced in a variety of private sector management roles including in retail, academia, training, export and account management. Moving into the public sector as a business counsellor providing advice and guidance to new and existing businesses across a range of sectors, including business planning, marketing, product development, growth plans, financial plans and grant applications.

Liz started a training company in 2015 working across England and Wales now employing 20 people. Liz’s role as Strategic and Operational Director focused on the business infrastructure (policies, procedures and processes), governance and compliance. A major part of her role was bid writing, strategy development and contract management.

Adding to her BEd in Business, Liz achieved her Level 7 Strategic Leadership and Management qualification in January 2019, she is now a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management.

Telephone: 07881 556852

Lynne Cowan

Lynne Cowan

How can I help you to make your business idea a reality?

You have the idea for your business, but how do you make it a reality? I have been involved in numerous start up businesses doing exactly that. From making your idea into a plan, doing the research and putting in place all the practicalities of making it happen. Then there are always the boring bits like accounts and VAT to sort and the funky stuff to investigate like deciding which apps and cloud software to use. There is no challenge I haven’t experienced, and the things that went wrong were valuable learning experiences.

What kind of businesses have I helped?

IT businesses – I was a director of a successful computer software business and helped my son to set up his own. Engineering start-ups and growth, B2B and direct to consumer sales, finance.

Mobile: 07946 054995

Mark Copesy

Mark Copesy

BA (Hons), MA Durham, Mark is an experienced business management trainer having been directly involved business and student training for 10 years both in the UK and NZ. He holds a passion for learning and understands how to build empathy and commitment from his students and companies. Mark has had a 30-year career in local government, Regional Development Agencies, Chamber of Commerce and running his own business.

Mark is a dynamic leader and driver of new initiatives and opportunities and has specialised in business growth, commercialisation and funding covering both the private and public sectors. He has worked as a consultant and trainer for the last 10 years. He also lecturers at Leeds Beckett University teaching entrepreneurship, innovation and change, business strategy at undergraduate and Master’s level. Mark is currently coaching 15 businesses in Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle.

Telephone: 07447 405245

Mary Murtagh

Mary Murtagh

I know the highs and lows facing entrepreneurs – because I am one. Starting out as a sole trader with a laptop and a £500 start-up grant I now run my own successful limited company.

I’ve worked with 100s of pre-start ups and fledging businesses (particularly creative and digital ones) and I share the hacks, shortcuts and top tips to get your side hustle off the ground so it pays your rent.

My mentoring style is fast-paced, hands-on and no-bull.

I have an enviable little black book of contacts – from journalists and creative industry experts to social media gurus and lawyers – who I can call upon on behalf of mentees.

As well as offering general business mentoring I have a PR specialism which helps mentees use the media to help them grow via ‘How to do your own PR’ workshops and one-to-one PR coaching.

The best way to reach me is at

Matthew Clayton

Matthew Clayton

“Helping you to Establish, Grow & Succeed”

What can you contribute to a pre-start entrepreneur over the first year in business?

Matt has over 12 years’ experience supporting over 1000 pre-start entrepreneurs – Particular expertise in Business Planning/Forecasting, Sales & Marketing.

Areas of Speciality/Methods of Mentoring Style:

  • Start-up
  • Legislation
  • Sales & Marketing

Mentoring style: Individual & Group plus Remote & 1:1

Business Sector(s):

I have supported clients across all sectors.

Past Mentor Experience with Pre-Start/New Start:

12 years’ experience with Pre-Start, New Start, SME’s & 3rd Sector

Past Work Experience:

Former HMRC (tax man), RBS (business banking) & Corporate Training plus 12 years’ experience as a company director.

Book an appointment with Matthew by:

Mobile: 07841 104357
Office: 0121 582 6119

Melanie Bryan

Melanie Bryan

Your personal growthologist!

ST, Owner, Recruitment Agency

If you’re looking for practical support to apply now to grow your business then I can help!

As a small business owner myself, I know how hard it is to know exactly what support you need, and what a big decision choosing a mentor is.

I have over 30 years’ experience of supporting businesses of all shapes and sizes and have helped over 2000 small businesses to grow. Along the way I’ve picked up awards which include an OBE, National Enterprise Champion and UK Top 50 Business Advisor. This means that I have both breadth and depth of knowledge and experience. As a growthologist, I translate this into practical ‘know how’ and ‘can do’ that you can use immediately to overcome challenges and take forward opportunities to grow.

So if you want someone who can show you the art of the possible using real-life examples; infect you and your teams with enthusiasm to achieve this; help you plot a practical route to get there; build your ‘can do’ to deliver (skills, knowledge and confidence); spot opportunities you may have missed; suggest approaches that have worked elsewhere; ensure nothing gets missed; and challenge and support you on your exciting journey – then I’d be honoured to work with you. And I promise we’ll have fun along the way!

Telephone: 07739 657 552

Phil Beardmore

Phil Beardmore

Green Leader and Cooperator

What can you contribute to a pre-start entrepreneur over the first year in business?

  • I am a doer; the best time to start taking action on an idea is now
  • I show enthusiasm for your ideas and passions
  • I have been there at the set up of businesses myself and have an understanding of the uncertainties you face
  • I demonstrate the power of goal setting
  • I am values-led
  • I understand impostor syndrome

Areas of Speciality/ Methods of Mentoring Style:

Calm, patient, personalised, intuitive.

Business Sector(s):

Environmental businesses; Cooperatives; Social Enterprises.

Past Mentor Experience with Pre-Start/New Start:

I am currently a mentor on the Uprising Birmingham leadership programme for young people.

Past Work Experience:

I have worked in the environmental sector as a leader and manager for more than twenty years. I have more than 25 years experience in the cooperative and social enterprise sectors as a leader, activist, consultant and mentor.

Telephone: 07791 839025

Ranjit Bansal

Ranjit Bansal

I’m Ranjit and I specialise in marketing and communications for small businesses and social enterprises.

I’ve have over 20 years’ experience of advising / guiding / mentoring all kinds of businesses and particularly enjoy working with new entrepreneurs. Eight years ago I set up Dynamic Marketing, my own marketing consultancy, the best decision I ever made. So I’m really excited for your enterprise journey and how I can support your road to success.

I can provide you with mentoring support to:

  • Explore and refine your business idea – researching the market, competition, testing viability
  • Identify potential customers and how to reach them
  • Define your brand
  • Develop your marketing strategy
  • Produce your communications toolkit

I’m friendly and approachable, well networked with other business professionals, and can offer independent thinking, challenge and motivation to keep you on track when you need it.

Look me up on LinkedIn, or find out more about me and my work via:

Telephone: 07725 053355

Sam Asanga

Sam Asanga

What can you contribute to a pre-start entrepreneur over the first year in business?

Being a business owner and entrepreneur myself, I am aware of some of the challenges that come with turning your creative idea into a successful business and am more than happy to share insights from my own experience, while supporting your journey of discovery around what works for your business situation.

As a Chartered Management Accountant, I am regularly involved in supporting new business owners define their business goals and work through commercially sound set of action plans to achieve their ambitions.

Areas of Speciality/Methods of Mentoring Style:

One of my first priorities will be to start an open conversation to fully understand your business needs and operating environment. Our sessions will be focused on addressing practical issues you may encounter while shaping different aspects of your business that may involve some of the following;

  • Choosing and registering business type
  • Define and refining business Goals, Strategies and Priorities
  • Put together viable business plans, trading forecasts and business cases
  • Understanding and managing finances, especially cashflow.
  • Tax planning and efficient ways of dealing with your business activities.
  • Pricing strategies and costings for your products & services
  • International product sourcing and online launch of your products

I am approachable and welcome being a sounding board to help shape and challenge your emerging ideas!

Some of the business sectors I have been involved with include; finance, online retail and wholesale, creative industry, healthcare, property management, digital, import and export, social enterprises and manufacturing.

I look forward to applying my experience and skills working with start-up owners like yourself, from all sectors.

Past Mentor Experience with Pre-Start/New Start:

I have been involved as a ‘Dragon’ and business mentor working for Kirklees Youth Enterprise Centre (KYEC) for a few years. This involved providing one-to-one mentoring for start-up businesses over 12 months and working with them to through any difficult business decisions.

Past Work Experience:

My immediate past roles involved managing and delivering multi million pounds projects within the corporate world and I have background working (both in UK and Internationally) within finance, project management, operations management and business consultancy.

I am also the co-owner of a UK based online retail business that was established in the last 5 years.

Mobile: 07988 655736

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