Mentoring program celebrates 20 years of supporting small business

Published Tuesday, 10 May, 2022 at 02:08 PM

Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
The Honourable Di Farmer

The Queensland Government’s Mentoring for Growth (M4G) program will mark its 20th year of supporting small businesses by hosting its 3040th mentoring session during Queensland Small Business Month.


Minister for Employment and Small Business Di Farmer said the Mentoring for Growth program had been particularly valuable for small businesses during the pandemic and as businesses looked to rebuild and grow.


Minister Farmer will host a function at Parliament House later today to mark the program’s 20th anniversary milestone.


“Mentoring for Growth is a free program for Queensland small businesses that provides access to a statewide pool of mentors who are matched to businesses based on their skills and knowledge,” Minister Farmer said.


“The program has hosted more than 3000 sessions since July 2016, when it was brought under the Advancing Small Business Queensland Strategy 2016–20.


“There are currently more than 300 experienced and highly skilled mentors providing quality support to small businesses owners statewide.”


During 2020–21, M4G hosted 614 sessions across 599 unique businesses with mentors providing 1590 volunteer hours of customised business mentoring via online engagement.


Minister Farmer said the impacts of COVID-19 were tough on small business and more businesses were seeking support as they adapted to new ways of operating.


“The program has been a great resource for businesses as they’ve had to change the way they operate, expand, and manage staff retention throughout the pandemic but tapping into other experienced business-minds can provide a new outlook and open the door to new opportunities,” Minister Farmer said.


“In the past financial year, the majority of mentees said that their business reported a projected increase in either employment, turnover or profitability following their session”.


Participant Jean Gordon and owner of Northside Produce in Brisbane said the comments from mentors were insightful and very constructive.


“Their feedback and suggestions were intelligent and extremely helpful to the planning behind our business growth. I was very happy with the session and would happily recommend the program to other business owners,” Ms Gordon said.


Brisbane’s Canio Muscillo, a volunteer business mentor since 2019, encouraged other professionals to get involved in giving back to the business community.


“Allocating time as a mentor is a grounding and humbling experience and it can be an inspirational one too – it is rewarding for both mentors and mentees,” Mr Muscillo said.


M4G is part of the Queensland Government’s Big Plans for Small Business Strategy and helps small business grow by increasing skills, capability, and identifying opportunities.


“I would like to thank and commend all mentors for volunteering their time over the past 20 years to support the small businesses that are such an important part of our communities and the Queensland economy,” Minister Farmer said.


The 20th year milestone will be celebrated with a series of activities to promote, engage and connect small businesses to the Queensland Government’s mentoring program.


For more information on M4G or to get involved visit:


Media contact: 0482 914 103