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The Central Economic Development Agency (CEDA) is calling for volunteers with a range of business experience to become Business Mentors and share their insights, expertise, knowledge and ways of thinking with others business owners and managers.

CEDA delivers a business mentoring facilitation service on behalf of Business Mentors New Zealand as part of the Regional Business Partner Network programme.

“The skills and knowledge ingrained in businesses across the wider Manawatu-Whanganui region is vast. We want to tap into this knowledge to share it, for the benefit of others,” says CEDA Business Mentors Coordinator, Heidi Stevenson-Wright.

“Our clients and their business needs are diverse, and it is important that we increase our group of mentors to reflect this diversity, in gender, culture and thinking.”

Each mentor brings their own set of skills and experience and CEDA matches mentors and mentees based on the needs of each pair.

One of CEDA’s business mentors, Lorraine Vincent, has more than 40 years’ experience in media, national sports administration, local government senior management and now runs her own consultancy, Refreshbiz. She became a mentor in 2016 and says it was a natural extension to the work she was doing. For her, the most exciting part of mentoring is the constant learning involved.

“You never stop learning as a mentor and you meet some incredible individuals along the way who stay in your network forever.”

“Mentoring is not about knowing everything or having an end in sight, it is about asking questions for a mentee to consider, so they can come to the realisation and make decisions themselves. Often my sessions help to untangle thinking and create clear priorities for a mentee to focus on.”

Mentoring and coaching can often fall down the list of priorities for businesses and it is an underutilised service that more business owners should take advantage of, she says, adding that managers, for example, can often find themselves stumbling into positions that they may not have necessarily chased, and mentoring is a way to help them develop skills.

“Mentoring is a way a business can invest in developing their employees.”

One of CEDA’s core focuses is to help businesses to grow bigger, better and faster, for a more prosperous region.

Together, with business owners and managers, CEDA invests in upskilling them and their staff, as well as enhancing their research and development capabilities, via our Business Growth Advisors, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Callaghan Innovation and Business Mentors New Zealand.

“Ensuring businesses have access to the skills and talent needed for growth is a crucial part of a thriving economy, and mentoring is just one element in this process,” says Heidi Stevenson-Wright.

If you’re interested in becoming a mentor or would like to learn more about the service, please get in touch by emailing [email protected].

For more information visit:

For more information:
[email protected]
06 350 1830

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