Following the recent changes implemented to the Micro Business Grant Scheme, the Department for Enterprise has appointed two new advisors to join the scheme’s business advisory team.
Tracy Underwood and Sandra Robertson will be joining the existing team of two advisors Bransom Bean and Helen Cowley. The business advisory team helps mentor start-up businesses in their formative years.
In the last five years the scheme has trained in excess of 835 individuals and financially supported and advised 321 small businesses. During the last financial year, the Department signed a record number of 88 contracts. Businesses supported range from marketing consultants and child care providers to education providers and photographers.
Laurence Skelly MHK, Minister for Enterprise, commented:
‘We are delighted that Sandra and Tracy are joining the team. Sandra is an experienced CEO, non-executive director and trusted advisor having worked for entrepreneurs at board level for the past 14 years. Tracy is a certified chartered accountant and has worked in the small business industry for over two decades and has a wealth of knowledge to help and support small businesses. With economic growth and job creation at the heart of government activity, it is more vital than ever that we can offer local businesses the best possible support and mentorship. Tracy and Sandra promise to strengthen an already diverse and successful team.’
The business mentoring service goes hand in hand with the financial assistance offered as part of the scheme. Applicants are partnered with a business advisor, who will act as a mentor throughout the initial business start-up phase. This takes the form of mentoring meetings over a period of 18 months, which can be tailored to the applicant’s needs and progress. In a recent satisfaction survey completed by supported businesses, mentoring was seen as the most beneficial aspect of the scheme, scoring a satisfaction rating of 95%.
Sandra is currently a director at Steer Alliance, working as a business confidante for serial entrepreneurs assisting them to review, develop and implement strategies. Sandra has worked for a number of Isle of Man companies, including Charterhouse Group International and Knox Group, in addition to Baroness Michelle Mone OBE. Tracy is the founder of local accountancy practice Enigma Accountancy and Bookkeeping, which specialises in mentoring small businesses.
They will be joining Bransom Bean and Helen Cowley who have acted as business advisors to the scheme for several years. Bransom, a director at Moore Stephens Crew Benefits in the Isle of Man, was instrumental in setting up Business Sense®, Moore Stephens specialised suite of services targeted at small and local businesses, and provides all of Moore Stephens business and executive coaching services.
Helen, director at Paradigm Consultants has over 25 years human resources and business management experience and has personally advised and supported over 220 local start-up businesses.
For more information on the Micro Business Grant Scheme, visit www.iomdfenterprise.im/micro