The Entrepreneurial Advisor Network

We believe in entrepreneurship for all. Our network of experienced local and global contacts is dedicated to helping students activate and grow their start-ups in Manchester and beyond.

The role of the advisor

Our students have the ideas and ambition to change the world with their business ideas. Could you be the one to help them along the way? 

Our aim is to cultivate a diverse network of professionals whom students can relate to and look up to as role models, providing an accessible route to relationship building and life long learning.

Think back to when you started your entrepreneurial journey? What were your hopes and fears? If you could go back in time, what pieces of advice might you give to your former student self? The benefit of experience is priceless.

The Entrepreneurial Advisor Network is your chance to give back and help the next generation of entrepreneurs to succeed in their journey. Sharing your valuable insights and experiences could help our students to navigate and explore the exciting opportunities and trials ahead.

Entrepreneurial Advisor Network

Whether you are five years or twenty years into your professional career, we believe that everyone has something to offer.

We’re on the lookout for passionate and dedicated advisors from a wide range of sector backgrounds who want to help nurture emerging entrepreneurial talent. Becoming a mentor, guest speaker or judge is a rewarding experience, and your encouragement could make a real lasting impact on the lives of The University of Manchester students and graduates, in both their professional and personal development.

In supporting this notable programme, you are actively assisting in accelerating the development of influential young founders who will change their world locally, regionally, and internationally.

Sign up today and join the Bee Hive of alumni and local supporters who are making a difference!

Opportunities include:

  • Judging in our annual awards and competitions, including the Venture Further Awards;
  • Speaking at our special events including Global Entrepreneurship Week and the Entrepreneurs@Manchester series;
  • Matched Mentoring with a student start-up founder or competition winner, to help them develop their evolving business or social enterprise idea and turn those ideas into reality.

What makes a great mentor?

  • A strong desire to help others grow and develop;
  • Being approachable and positive, with excellent listening and communication skills;
  • Honest and open, patient and non-judgemental;
  • A strong understanding of starting up and scaling up a business or enterprise;
  • A good working knowledge of sector and industry drivers, and entry expectations for new enterprises;
  • Comprehension of cultural and gender differences and sensitivity to these differences.

What kind of input is required?

The typical length of each support phase is 3 to 6 months, based on mutual availability.

  • After your initial meeting, we suggest one meeting a month either face to face or Zoom;
  • If appropriate, utilising your industry networks to unlock key contacts and referrals that students would not normally get so early on in their start-up journeys;
  • Providing feedback on business plans, evolving ideas, pitches and presentations;

How is the mentoring programme managed?

The matching process is managed by the Community Development Manager, using our online mentoring platform Mentorloop.

  • We will approach advisors with potential matches, who are carefully selected students from our award schemes and start-up visa applicants;
  • We look to match students and advisors based on sector interests, business development goals, personality or communication styles, cultural backgrounds and gender identity;
  • There is no obligation to accept a match, although advisors can choose to take on one or two mentees at a time;
  • You can schedule meetings, set agendas and create goals through our online platform, and regular feedback is fathered to monitor progress and success.