The Network for Coaching and Mentoring Entrepreneurs, NCME, was co-founded through a research and practice collaboration between Dr Harveen Chugh (Warwick Business School) and Victoria Nicholl (Imperial Enterprise Lab), along with the support of Enterprise Educators UK. Our purpose is to enable enterprise educators and programme managers in sharing practices on coaching and mentoring entrepreneurs. By sharing resources, discussing key themes and advancing knowledge, we aim to provide the best support possible for entrepreneurs.
Development and Delivery
The NCME was born on a sunny day in May 2020 with the support of EEUK following an Enterprise Exchange event that we ran with them virtually on mentoring and coaching services for student entrepreneurs. The sentiment to keep the conversation going was overwhelming and the NCME was a natural spinout from that event. The gap that NCME fills is about sharing practical insights and resources around coaching and mentoring entrepreneurs.
The NCME has operated at zero cost to date. Although, we may require funding in the future as we grow.
Our biggest supporters have been Ben-Mumby Croft, Director of Imperial Enterprise Lab and EEUK. Ben is in effect our Advisory Board and Champion, while EEUK have been so willing to share communication where they can. This is greatly appreciated as they have a powerful network in the UK.
We’ve had no major obstacles so far. In fact, running virtually has been a real benefit since it has meant enterprise educators and programme managers can join us from all over UK without worrying about travel and costs etc.
The impact has been for enterprise educators in roles related to research and innovation, knowledge exchange, student enterprise and strategic projects. Some examples are:
- I’ve already taken from the network tools and tips which I have passed on to the team. They are using these on our programmes and it is making a big difference to those we work with. – Ben Cole, Head of Strategic Projects at Loughborough University London
- NCME has brought together a diverse group of people with various mentoring experiences and programmes – this has been very useful in shaping my thinking around the programmes I want to develop for under-represented groups in entrepreneurship. – Leah Thompson, Senior Knowledge Exchange Officer at the University of Oxford
- There’s not yet been a meeting where a practical solutions/tips/tools hasn’t been offered that I could introduce into my way of working. – Dwain Reid, Student Enterprise Manager at Kingston University
We have measured and evidenced the impacts through:
- The number of NCME members (currently over 50 and growing)
- The number of attendees at meetings each term (usually 20-30 and highly positive comments at the end of each meeting)
- 5+ new members referred to the network by current members
One of our key learnings from setting up the NCME is how a network or group of shared interest can be set up and developed with a little investment of time and at zero cost. We have shared our experience with colleagues in the hope this will inspire them to form other networks in the near future.
For us – Our hopes for the future are that we help enterprise colleagues across the world set up successful coaching and mentoring services for their founders, and that more startups thrive as a result. In the short term, we would like the community to strengthen its ties, and in the medium term for it to grow with in the UK and globally.
For you – We welcome hearing from enterprise educators and programme managers who are interested in the NCME. Find out more and apply to join here: https://arcahub.co.uk/the-ncme-network/
Dr Harveen Chugh
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