Small Business Owners Snap Up Free Mentoring Program

26 February 2021

Hundreds of Victorian small businesses and sole traders have taken up the offer of free mentoring sessions, providing fresh eyes and expert advice as operators plan for a strong recovery in 2021.

The Andrews Labor Government’s Business Recovery and Resilience Mentoring program has allowed businesses to step back from the coalface and gain advice on digital opportunities, preparing and implementing business plans, improving time management, identifying new opportunities and rethinking marketing strategies.

More than 730 businesses have benefitted from 3,300 hours of one-on-one professional mentoring, with the program open for new participants until the end of the year.

Minister for Small Business Jaala Pulford this week visited Reach Gymnasium in Pakenham to speak with owner Rebecca Tilley, who recently completed the mentoring program and found it helpful with implementing practical ideas and goals around finance, social media marketing and business planning.

Reach Gymnastics runs gymnastics and ninja classes in Pakenham and Emerald with a focus on fun, ensuring that children feel supported, included and challenged.

Operated in partnership with the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), the $10 million Business Recovery and Resilience Mentoring program matches small business owners and sole traders with experienced professional mentors to help them adapt their businesses and strategies.

Since launching last August, the program has conducted 1,662 free and customised mentoring sessions.

More than 200 professional mentors have signed on to provide guidance in business recovery, market transformation, digital literacy and engagement, market and supply chain diversification, and reskilling and training.

The Business Recovery and Resilience Mentoring program will run until December 2021. For more information, including on other small business initiatives ranging from online short-course training to digital adaptation grants of up to $1,200, and wellbeing and mental health support, visit

Quote attributable to Minister for Small Business Jaala Pulford

“Businesses have faced challenges they never dreamed of, and having the ability to seek expert, tailored advice from an experienced mentor has proved invaluable for hundreds of operators.”

Quote attributable to Member for Bass Jordan Crugnale

“This free mentoring service for businesses is well worth considering as it provides practical support, guidance and assistance to adapt and get through these challenging times.”

Quote attributable to VCCI chief executive Paul Guerra

“The Victorian Chamber is pleased to be partnering with the Victorian Government on the Business Recovery and Resilience Mentoring program, and we’ve delivered more than 3,300 hours of mentoring to date.”

Quote attributable to Reach Gymnastics owner Rebecca Tilley

“The mentoring sessions were a fantastic opportunity to continue growing my business knowledge and gain much-needed support during a challenging time.I genuinely believe the sessions were a game-changer for my business.”

Reviewed 26 February 2021

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