Basepoint were this months sponsors for the recent breakfast networking and business meeting held at The Nothe Fort.
An excellent breakfast was once again enjoyed by all at the historic Nothe Fort with excellent presentations by Teresa Allwood from the Dorset Business Mentoring Programme and Doug Pigg from the Dorset National Park project.
President Andrew Knowles welcomed the many attendees and thanked Basepoint for their sponsorship and the Nothe Fort for their hospitality. Basepoint Weymouth comprises 31 self-contained business units suitable for office and workshop use built around a neighbourly courtyard.
The keynote speaker Teresa Allwood, Dormen’s Programme Manager, spoke about how mentoring has helped many small businesses in Dorset, with some recent examples, and answered questions that Chamber members had about how it works.
Teresa said, “The Dorset Business Mentoring Programme (Dormen) provides one-to-one mentoring support for small businesses across Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole. We are working with about 170 clients at the moment and, since it started in 2005, the programme has supported over 1300 businesses, ranging from sole traders to medium sized companies. We currently have a team of over 100 male and female mentors who are all volunteers.”
There are five and a half small businesses in this country and that is an increase of 23% since 2010. In analysis it has proven that there is a 75% success rate increase for any business with mentoring support and DORMEN only charge a ridiculously small fee of £100 for this service.
The initial 12 months of visits can develop into years of working together with mentors, in businesses with one man or 400 and linking the business and mentor is carefully organised by Teresa and her team.
It was agreed by all this was an amazing opportunity for businesses in Weymouth and Portland that many had already taken advantage of. For more mentoring information link here.
Next to address the audience was Doug Pigg from the Dorset National Park proposal who set out to show the advantages for business if the National Park is formed. Doug explained; “When the first National Parks were proposed in 1945 sadly only the Dorset Park failed due to lack of proposal infrastructure!” With the development of the Jurassic Coast theme, the idea of a Dorset National Park is now well under way and Natural England will make a decision in 2018.
Doug enthused about the merits of the National Park addressing the demographic issues of the area and bringing in massive government funding and trade. “It is the National Park branding that will raise the identity and visibility and foster economic well being for the area” said Doug. Weymouth and Portland will be at the heart of the Park and could benefit enormously from the potential economic gain. More information go the Dorset National Park website here.