BUSINESS support specialist Blue Orchid has extended its free Get Mentoring programme across the North West.

The national Get Mentoring programme, which went live in January, offers free mentoring training to business owners and professionals across the region.

Business owners or business professionals who have experience in business can apply for the free training. Successful candidates and attendees then receive a certificate of recognition from the Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative (SFEDI) and a year’s membership of the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs (IOEE).

Blue Orchid Get Mentoring manager Karen McKean said that there has been overwhelming demand for the programme across the region. An additional 12 full days of training will now be held across the region until the end of April.

Karen said: "We have received huge interest from a cross section of professionals. Accountants, financial directors, marketing consultants, HR directors and retired business owners have all come forward to participate in the scheme and offer their services. We have received high numbers of referrals from mentors who have been on our course and who have seen the benefit of the training and have recommended it to their contacts.

"We are delighted that this project has been extended and we need more, experienced business owners and professionals from all backgrounds and ages to come forward. The scheme is an opportunity to help others while positioning yourself as an expert in your field. The benefits are two-way – businesses get real support and mentors feel they are giving something back while also enhancing their own skills and enterprise know-how. Giving just an hour a month can go a long way in unlocking talent and helping a business grow."

Blue Orchid is extending its workshops in Liverpool, Chester, Manchester and Wigan. The courses last for one day and are available until the end of April. For business networks who have multiple members, on-site training is available.

Karen said: "Anyone interested should contact us straight away so we can make arrangements."

The next Get Mentoring course to be held in Chester takes place tomorrow (Friday, April 20) at Blue Orchid, Riverside Innovation Centre, University of Chester, Castle Drive, Cheshire, CH1 1SL.

For more information, visit mentoring or call 0151 284 7728.