A group of London's universities are launching a new collaboration – OpenSME – that seeks to make it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access the expertise and knowledge they offer.
2014 UCL Best Mentor Award
The 2014 UCL Best Mentor Award is presented to the business mentor who demonstrates the most support and value to their mentee company.
As part of entrepreneurial promotion, activities and services to highlight innovation, UCL Advances (UCL’s centre for entrepreneurship and business interaction) runs a business mentoring programme to help London-based businesses grow and develop by analysing business needs and connecting them to industry mentors.
This programme is for micro, small and medium-sized businesses experiencing “growing pains” due to a lack of specific managerial expertise as needed in development phases. The enterprises would have already passed their start-up phases and are experiencing challenges that are holding back the potential to grow significantly.
The 2013 UCL Best Mentor Award was given to Silvina Paz.
Silvina was selected as winner for the UCL Best Mentor award for her efforts with four companies that she has been mentoring since she came on board as a mentor in the summer of 2012.
Silvina's background is in finance but she has also run her own ecommerce business for over 5 years and currently is on the board of another small company based in the mining sector. She is also in an angel investment group. The companies that she has mentored have all been in need of assistance in either pitching for finance or pitching to clients. She has been very hands on in helping to develop the companies' pitch and often this has required looking at the overall business and aligning the actions being carried out in the business with the pitch that is being delivered, ensuring that in both the pitch and the business there is a viable strategy. She is good at looking at both the big picture and at small details and is very reassuring to the business owners that she is there if they need her.
All have expressed how helpful she has been and in some instances she has even introduced businesses to her personal contacts in investment. Silvina has recently taken on her fourth business to mentor, WishBomb, showing a real dedication to helping right from the start of joining the mentoring programme.