Business mentors

We’ve been helping Aotearoa New Zealand’s small business owners grow since 1991. Our national network of experienced mentors guide developing business owners to achieve sustainable success.


Finding a Business Mentor

If your business is facing change or challenges, there are many sources of coaching and support available from business mentors New Zealand-wide. Find a business mentoring programme to suit you from amongst a range of companies and services, including government agencies, financial institutions, business associations, and non-profit organisations. 

From small businesses to startups to social enterprises, our experienced mentors are an invaluable source of leadership and support, helping you as a client to overcome inevitable challenges so that you can take your business venture to the next level.

With no financial investment in your company, mentors aren't motivated by profit. They're focused on providing a service to the business community that facilitates your success. 

Why you need a mentor

Business mentors can act as a sounding board for ideas, using their sector industry knowledge to give constructive feedback. They work alongside you, guiding you in the right direction so you can succeed in reaching your business goals. 

Mentors assess your business from an independent but supportive point of view, helping you to consider long-term strategies, and providing access to other sources of leadership and support from their own business networks.

The right mentor could be a friend, colleague, or another business owner. However, if you don't have someone in mind or you would prefer a business mentor that doesn't know you personally (if there are conflicts of interest or you want your particular circumstances kept confidential), there are a range of organisations you can approach to connect you to a mentoring service. 

Business Mentors NZ 

Business Mentors New Zealand is an independent national business mentoring service, interested in supporting both small businesses and the most well-known companies. They provide up to 12 months of confidential one-on-one assistance for a one-off registration fee of $295 + GST. 

All you need to register is your contact information, an outline of your existing or prospective business, what your ideal mentor would be like, and how you would want to benefit from your investment in Business Mentors New Zealand. 

Read about Business Mentors New Zealand case studies, or take the first step towards industry success and register for a mentor now. 

Regional Business Partner Network

The Regional Business Partner Network is funded by the New Zealand government, comprising 14 regional growth agencies throughout the country. Once you've registered, they'll match you with a local advisor to identify what support you could be eligible for. 

Based on the specific needs of your venture, they'll connect you with the right people, training, and funding to help move your business forward (which could include mentoring).

Visit this page to sign up today or find more information.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise

NZTE uses their knowledge and global industry networks to help exporters connect to the right partners and investors.

Other mentoring options

There's a range of other support and coaching options available in the community to help your business develop and succeed. Be aware that costs will vary significantly. 

  • Join your industry association to connect with your peers and immerse yourself in business life. 
  • Chambers of Commerce have a range of activities designed to help business owners learn and connect. Find your local Chamber.
  • Consultants are typically task-specific advisors with the relevant skills and technologies to help you develop plans to tackle a particular challenge or issue.
  • Māori Business Growth Support work alongside Māori businesses to help plan their growth and sales pathway.
  • The Institute of Directors has a variety of options available to assist with governance and insights on how to form a board (in effect, this means several mentors working together on your business).

Choosing the right mentor

The best business mentors challenge you, act as a sounding board against which you can develop ideas, take a hands-on approach, and proactively work to build your skills. It's important to look for a person who suits your particular working style and who has the experience to make a real difference.

When you meet a potential mentor, ensure that they:

  • Are excited about your business and are confident that they can help you achieve your objectives or solve your problem.
  • Have proven expertise either in your industry or with similar size businesses.
  • Have a similar outlook or style of advising that you can relate to.
  • Use language that you can understand, without jargon.

Send your brief to a few different mentors to see what sort of responses you get. Don't feel as though you need to accept the first person that comes along.

How to prepare for business advice

Before you approach a professional business mentor, be clear on what you want from the relationship. It's a good idea to put together a brief that outlines what you do, what you're trying to achieve or solve, and any specific issues you need help with.

  • Stay concentrated on your objectives but remember your advisor has industry knowledge, marketing skills, and business experience that you don't. They could make suggestions you hadn't originally considered. Get the most out of your coaching time by being flexible and open.
  • Spend time researching online. Check out local business organisations and services available in your region.

Ultimately, the more you're prepared to share, the more you'll benefit from your mentor's advice. 

Next steps

  • Get in touch with ASB by enquiring online, visit your local branch, call on 0800 272 222, or get in touch with your banker (who may have contacts you can use).
  • Ask other small business owners that you know and respect for mentoring recommendations and contacts. 
  • Listen to podcasts and attend local business conferences (physical and online), events, and webinars to discover additional resources to build your business network.
  • Use social media to follow trusted business advisors, organisations, and associations to identify a potential mentor.

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