New York state has launched a new online platform for Business Mentor NY, a large-scale, hands-on mentoring program designed to help entrepreneurs and small businesses grow.
State officials said the platform – www.businessmentor.ny.gov – is designed to streamline the free mentoring process so that business owners throughout New York state may receive assistance from a variety of experienced professionals who represent a vast range of disciplines and are volunteering their time and expertise.
Through the website, participants may register online, review the profiles of potential mentors and communicate directly with them on an as-needed basis and at no charge.
“This free, new program will help small businesses looking to grow,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “Helping small business owners overcome obstacles and achieve greater success will in turn strengthen local economies and spur job creation.”
In his State of the State address in January, Cuomo first announced the creation of Business Mentor NY, which builds upon the volunteer mentoring efforts that provided assistance to businesses affected by Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Lee and Tropical Storm Lee.
“Great companies start with great ideas, and Business Mentor NY was created to help entrepreneurs build a successful business model around their great ideas,” said Kenneth Adams, president, CEO and commissioner of Empire State Development. “Whether it’s overcoming hardships caused by a severe storm, reviewing insurance policies or managing finances, this innovative network was designed to help small businesses grow by learning from the experiences of their peers throughout the state.”
Empire State Development, which administers the Business Mentor NY program, will conduct a series of events across the state to increase awareness about the program’s benefits. The program partners with the NY Rising Small Business Recovery Program to assist businesses in communities affected by the aforementioned storms and is funded in part through the federal Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program enacted in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.
Business Mentor NY connects volunteers working in the private sector to small businesses and minority and women owned businesses (MWBEs) to help them both recover from the storm and become more resilient.
Officials said the one-on-one guidance and counsel will complement the state’s current network of financial and technical assistance providers that help owners and communities realize their full economic potential.