International project manager and education entrepreneur from Milton Keynes joins national effort to support small businesses

Keisha runs a child learning business
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An international project manager and entrepreneur from Milton Keynes is one of more than three thousand business leaders that have signed up to ‘give back' and become part of a national network of voluntary mentors to support SMEs as the UK slides into recession.

Keisha Shah found success in the corporate world in a variety of roles, including project-managing national and international blue-chip clients, teaching, language training, translations, interpreting for the police and corporate clients.After having her son in 2017, she decided to use her skills, knowledge and background in education to found her child learning business Teddo Play.She found her way into mentoring by happy accident before volunteering to be part of the Help to Grow: Management Course.Keisha said: “ I didn't get involved to make mentoring a profession but rather because I love to share my knowledge and experience of running a small successful business.“Being a teacher, I find it exciting and easy to drive helpful information to people. People find me approachable and knowledgeable in a number of areas and I believe in the idea of growing together, so I'm always helping out businesses and people in general.

" I like to do thorough research and find it satisfying when I'm able to save someone's time by directing them to the right resources for the information they need.”Keisha, who is based in Central Milton Keynes, thinks mentoring can provide important professional and emotional support.

Teddo Play CEO Keisha ShahTeddo Play CEO Keisha Shah
Teddo Play CEO Keisha Shah

“Being an entrepreneur can become quite a lonely journey. Having access to mentors could be very rewarding both on a professional and an emotional level. It opens doors to new opportunities and resources which you might not have known existed.The Help to Grow: Management Course offers senior business leaders one-to-one support from an experienced business mentor included in 50 hours of leadership and management training across 12 weeks, with the government covering 90% of the costs involved. Training is delivered via a national network of over 50 Business Schools.Emma Jones, founder of small business support platform Enterprise Nation, part of the consortium of businesses contracted to recruit volunteer mentors for the course, said: “It’s been so incredibly humbling to see high calibre leaders including hundreds of independent business owners, with the human strength and humanity to step forward and offer their own time, experience, and knowledge to support the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs.“The Help to Grow: Management Course online platform will allow businesses to find the perfect match for their business so they can start to put what they have learned into practice.”A digital platform uses data and weighting technology to pair businesses with mentors based on location, sector, and mentoring support required. Mentors offer a commitment of 10 hours, over 12 weeks, plus time to engage in training offered by the Association of Business Mentors.In exchange for offering their time and experience, voluntary Help to Grow: Management Course mentors receive significant value in the form of industry recognised mentor training, access to qualified content, networking opportunities with other mentors.Led by business support group Newable and including Enterprise Nation and the Association of Business Mentors, the consortium has been appointed by the Government to develop a national network of business leaders and experts who will share their skills and experience.Enterprise Nation is a business support platform and provider delivering support to more than 50,000 small businesses every month. Its aim is to help people turn their good ideas into great businesses .