One on One Mentoring

Free Mentoring Sessions

It has been a significantly difficult period for businesses whether it’s adapting, a changing business model or a restructured workforce. The 1:1 mentoring program provides the support you require to respond to the current challenges including identifying new opportunities and planning for a changing operating environment.

In partnership with the Victorian Government and the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, we are offering free business mentoring sessions. Your business may receive up to four x 2-hour sessions with a mentor who will help you make informed decisions about your business.

See list of mentors

Apply for the Mentor Program

To take part in the free 1:1 mentor program please click on the apply now button below. You will be shown other mentors on approval along with the Geelong Chamber. If you would like to go ahead with the Geelong Chamber mentors as listed above, please click on ‘Geelong Chamber’ in the list provided.

Process to Apply

  • To apply for the mentor program, you will be directed to the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) application form to check your eligibility.
  • If eligible, the VCCI will send you a ‘Business Pulse survey to complete.’
  • Once you have completed the survey, VCCI will suggest 6 mentor options for your consideration. One of those options will be the Geelong Chamber of Commerce. If the Geelong Chamber is not on your list of options, you may request this.
  • Click here to review the list of Geelong Chamber Mentors.
  • Once you have selected your mentor, advise VCCI via email.

Apply Now

Mentoring Program - Frequently Asked Questions

If eligible, you will be matched with an experienced professional who will provide you with four one on one mentoring sessions over a three-month period. Each session will last for two hours. Mentoring sessions will be conducted by Zoom, phone or face to face (if appropriate). Click on the button below to view a list of carefully selected Geelong Chamber of Commerce Mentors.

Before being assigned a mentor, applicants will be asked to complete a brief diagnostic tool designed to assess the specific needs of their business recovery. On approval, you will be sent 6 mentors to choose from, of which one option will be the Geelong Chamber mentors listed through the link above.

Following the initial session, applicants will be provided with a detailed action plan. Applicants will also be connected with further support for their business as needed. This may include financial counselling, digital expertise and coaching, and mental health support and training.

The mentor will then schedule up to three follow-up sessions with the applicant over the following three months to check on their progress, and provide additional support and guidance as needed. To put in your expression of interest to become a mentor, please click here.

The program is open to the owners of small businesses with less than 20 full-time employees. For the purposes of the program, a small business owner can be a sole trader, partnership, private company or trust that operates a small business.

Twenty full-time employees means the total of all standard hours worked by all employees (whether full-time or part-time) in standard hours as defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Applications from businesses that employ 20 or more full-time employees, but have a turnover of less than $50 million, may also be considered.

Businesses must also:

  • hold an active Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • not be a public company, charitable business (one that does not operate to make a profit) or body corporate under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997
  • intend to re-establish or continue operating in Victoria.

If you operate more than one small business – for example under a single ABN at separate locations – you may apply for mentorship for each eligible business.

Factors which may be considered in assessing applications include:

  • the staffing arrangements of the separate businesses
  • whether each has its own plant, equipment or stock
  • the accounting and insurance arrangements of the separate business
  • whether the separate business operates under its own trading name
  • the commercial viability and autonomy of each business

Applicants who operate a business as a sole trader (with no employees other than the owner) must:

  • receive most of their income from the business, or
  • be able to demonstrate they received most of their income from the business prior to 1 March 2020, and that this would have continued to be the case if not for the effects of coronavirus (COVID-19) and Government-imposed restrictions.

The program provides guidance on the following areas (that is relevant to you):

  • Business Recovery – Strengthen business recovery (cost reduction, debt and cash flow management)
  • Market Transformation – Understand how coronavirus (COVID-19) has triggered or accelerated market changes
  • Digital Literacy and Engagement – Reach new customers and markets
  • Market and Supply Chain Versification – Reduce exposure to supply chain risks
  • Reskilling and Retraining – Help businesses upskill their existing workforce

If accepted into the program, you will be presented with up to 6 mentor options. One of those options will be the Geelong Chamber of Commerce Mentors.  You will have the opportunity to put forward a preference, however this preference will not be guaranteed. Please click here to view the Geelong Chamber of Commerce Mentors.

Become a mentor

Thank you for your interest in becoming a mentor. To put in an expression of interest, please click on the link below.

Mentor Expression of Interest

In partnership with: