Mentoring for Growth

Mentoring for Growth

For their mentoring programme, founders of ALT STUDIOS, Paul Milner and Scott Savin were matched up with Nigel Mills CBE, CEO of The Lakes Distillery and former Entrepreneurs’ Forum chairman, and John Duns, director and co-owner of North East Times Magazine.

In terms of business acumen and knowledge on how to grow a business successfully, Nigel and John are without doubt two of the most accomplished entrepreneurs in the country. We caught up with Nigel, John and ALT STUDIOS’ Paul Milner to find out more about their experience with the Entrepreneurs’ Forum’s mentoring programme and why it’s such an important part of what the Forum is all about.

“We're just about to head into our second year as Forum members and honestly, it was an easy decision to become part of their growing community,” says Paul.

“Our aim was to broaden our general business knowledge and to engage on a more personal and conversational level with those driving their own entrepreneurial endeavours.

“Prior to getting involved with the Forum’s mentoring programme, we had led our business’s charge on our own for just under two years. We were on the cusp of recruiting to form a small design team and required advice primarily on growth. With ALT STUDIOS being our first business venture, it’s fair to say we were also after a second opinion on our short-term and long-term business strategy from seasoned and successful individuals outside our industry.”

Having had mentoring sessions with at least 100 plus businesses combined over the past 21 years, Nigel and John were no-brainers when it came to pairing ALT STUDIOS up with mentors.

“The experience with both Nigel and John surpassed our expectations as it provided an injection of confidence that we needed at a pivotal point in the infancy of our practice and served as a reminder to be brave,” says Paul.

“The fact that Nigel and John were willing to sacrifice time from their very busy schedules said a lot about them as people."

John tackled a number of different topics with the ALT STUDIOS team, from cultural values to networking and branding.

“I had a really enjoyable session with Paul and Scott,” he says.

“We discussed the importance of brand and business development. I’m optimistic that the team at ALT STUDIOS will be a great success - they have the unwavering commitment to quality that is needed.”

As far as Nigel is concerned, mentoring is vitally important in creating successful entrepreneurs and was one of the main reasons the Entrepreneurs’ Forum came to be in the first place.

“From day one mentoring was in the DNA of the Forum, mentoring is the magic ingredient that can mean the difference between success and failure,” says Nigel.

“The Entrepreneurs’ Forum was created for North East based entrepreneurs to help them build and scale their businesses here in the region, to create the wealth and jobs it desperately needs. In other words if nobody else will help us we will help each other and get the job done regardless."


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