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Small Business Mentoring Program

Find an experienced mentor to help your business succeed.

On this page

  • About the program
  • Contact information
  • Book a mentoring session


This program is ongoing.

Whether you're new to running a business or a seasoned business owner, a mentor can help you refine your business strategy, map out the direction that your business should be taking and assist in setting goals for your business to succeed.

The Department of State Development, Business and Innovation's mentoring program for small business is delivered by the Small Business Mentoring Service Inc. (SBMS). The SBMS and Small Business Victoria have been running this program in Victoria for over 25 years and each year over 3,000 mentoring sessions are held with small business owners and people intending to start a business.

How SBMS mentors can help

Mentoring services are provided by nearly 90 highly experienced business people with skills and qualifications in a wide range of industries and disciplines. For minimal cost, Victorian small businesses can access the wisdom and experience of the SBMS mentors. Visit the SBMS website to read more about the backgrounds and expertise of the SBMS mentors.

Some areas that an experienced business mentor can help are: 

  • starting new businesses
  • setting objectives and direction for your business
  • writing business plans
  • developing more effective marketing strategies
  • increasing sales and profits
  • identifying new products and services
  • improving time management
  • identifying new opportunities

Booking your mentoring sessions

Small Business Clinics

Small Business Clinics offer free 45 minute sessions with a mentor at 113 Exhibition Street, Melbourne. You can now view available mentoring sessions, read up a mentor's profile and book one that has expertise in particular industries or strengths.

Venue: 113 Exhibition Street, Melbourne

Bookings: call the Victoria Business Line at 13 22 15 and ask to speak to a Small Business Customer Service Officer or book through SBMS website. If sessions are booked out, a waiting list is available - please contact Dani Gibby, SMBMS at Tel: 9879 4486 for more information.

Small Business Bus

Free 45 minute sessions are also available at the Small Business Victoria's Small Business Bus which is a van travelling around metropolitan and regional Victoria.

Mentoring sessions on the Bus must be booked in advance. You can check where the Bus is visiting next and book through the Events Management System  or you can call the Victorian Business Line at 13 22 15.

Ongoing Paid Mentoring with SBMS

Small business owners and people intending to start a small business can book longer sessions on an ongoing basis with a mentor of their choice who have specific skills and industry backgrounds.

These sessions are longer than the free 45 minute sessions and enable clients to engage with mentors over a longer period of time on a regular basis.

Number of Sessions Cost
One session $100
Two sessions
Three sessions $255
Four sessions
Additional ongoing mentoring

Mentors can be chosen and paid for at the SBMS website or by calling the Small Business Mentoring Service on Tel: 9879 4486.

What others say about the mentoring service

'We had a lot of things to plan, get organised, and we didn't know where to start. We knew we wanted to grow the business, to get plans in place for succession and business growth and the input from an independent, impartial and experienced mentor was what we identified as being the way to move forward.'
Mark Bridge, Great Southern Credit Management
'Sales have increased and the business has turned the corner from being seriously unprofitable. There are now greater safeguards against losing focus which in the past led to near disaster.'
Craig Robinson, Dynamic Developments Carpentry & Construction

'Prior to engaging our mentor, we felt our business had stalled and was not at the level we aspired to be... we are now in a position to anlayse the business easily, allowing us to make informed decisions as we grow and avoid any potential pitfalls'
Greg Palazzo, Allgrange Services 
'We have a better balance of work across the business, getting people to deliver on their tasks. Business has grown considerably.'
Carlos Swinton-Lee, Bar & Restaurant Consultants

Case study: Use mentors to get started

'Mentoring was something I'd never considered', he said, 'but Rene, my mentor, ended up being the best thing that could have happened to Sandman Electrics'

Simon Dixon, Sandman Electrics

Read more about using mentors to get started

Simon from Sandman Electrics at the Small Business Big Future exhibition