Patch – Our new Business Mentor and Support Network
Local residents and businesses now have the chance to use their skills and experience to mentor local businesses struggling due to the COVID-19 crisis, thanks to Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s new Patch scheme.
The council’s latest business support service will initially match mentors with businesses which need financial, legal and digital marketing guidance.
The UK’s leading digital venture builder, Blenheim Chalcot, based in Hammersmith Broadway, is one of the first local businesses to have joined the initiative, and will be offering legal guidance.
This is the latest effort from H&F Council to help support local businesses through these testing times.
Patch draws on the success of the H&F CAN (Community Aid Network), which has demonstrated the generosity of local residents to assist those in need during the coronavirus outbreak.
Each volunteer will give up from two to four hours of their time each month. We are looking for volunteers to commit to at least two hours each month for a three-month period, to mentor or guide a business in the borough, with all support and guidance done online.
The first local residents and businesses to have volunteered are communications expert Frances Umeh, who is providing digital marketing guidance, Blenheim Chalcot talent and networks director Josie Filmer, who is offering legal guidance, while Hammersmith resident Mark Elliott is providing guidance on finance to businesses who sign up to the scheme.
Need help or want to get involved?
Only businesses with a trading address within Hammersmith & Fulham are eligible.
We will prioritise businesses who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 crisis and were financially sound prior to the outbreak.
We are also now recruiting mentors for Patch.
Check out our FAQs below before applying to make sure you are eligible to take part in Patch. If you can't find the information you need, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Frequently asked questions
- Which businesses can apply for Patch mentoring support?
Businesses need to:
- have a trading address in Hammersmith & Fulham
- have been financially sound prior to the COVID-19 outbreak
- be adversely affected by the pandemic
- employ at least one member of staff, in addition to yourself
- have been trading prior to 1 September 2019
- not be involved in multi-level marketing (MLM).
For science and tech businesses that are engaged in developing a new product and service we understand that the timelines for research and development and customer traction are typically longer. So even if you are pre-revenue, you can still apply to Patch if you have been operational prior to 1 September 2019.
- Why are you focusing on finance, legal and digital marketing only?
Local businesses have told us that these are the three main areas they need the most help in. We are looking into offering more support if there is demand in different areas.
You can also get free 1-2-1 business support from H&F Council’s business advisers here.
- How do you become a volunteer?
We are looking for local residents and businesses based in the borough. Volunteers need to have at least 8 years experience and a background in either:
- finance (accounting, financial management, financial strategy)
- law (qualified solicitor or barrister)
- digital marketing.
- I’m a local resident or local business and would like to volunteer but cannot commit to the two hours for a minimum of three months requirement. Can I still volunteer?
We want to provide local businesses in need with all the support and guidance they need during these testing times which is why we are looking for a three-month minimum commitment from volunteers.
However we do appreciate that the ability to volunteer will change with other commitments including an end to furloughing. Please complete the volunteer application form and if we find you a good match, we will definitely say yes.
- I've been furloughed. Can I volunteer?
Definitely. You can find the latest on what you can do while furloughed here.
- Do I need to have any insurance to cover myself against any indemnities?
Volunteers will be covered by H&F Council’s insurance. If the business you assist voluntarily then decides to pay you for further advice and services, you will need to be covered by your own business insurance.
- I’d love to volunteer but I have no legal, financial or digital marketing experience?
Yes, these three areas are just the ones we are starting out with. If there is sufficient demand, we will be adding others. It would be great if you could drop us a line to say how you would like to contribute at email@example.com