A PILOT mentoring scheme has been launched to help businesses in Brighton and Hove.

The Tide Mentoring programme is led by Michelle Ovens MBE, who also heads up the national campaigns Small Business Saturday and The Small Awards

The Vine Club, a new workspace members club by local entrepreneurs Crush Creative and Agency Rush, played host to businesses and mentors in the first of many activities by Tide to boost business support across the UK.

The programme aims to address the critical need for local, face to face, business support, as laid out in the Government’s Industrial Strategy last November.

Michelle Ovens said: “Launching and growing a small business is incredibly rewarding – it is also incredibly hard.

“Businesses have told us they want face-to-face advice from experienced local businesses to help them take the next steps.

“We are working with partners across communities to launch this in 2018.

“Brighton is the ideal place to run our pilot as it is full of incredible, engaged and enthusiastic entrepreneurs.”

George Bevis, founder and CEO of Tide, said: “Tide celebrates business owners doing what they love and we’d like to encourage more people to give it a shot.

“That’s why we’re supporting business owners in local communities with mentoring and advice.

“We’re are really pleased that Brighton’s talented business owners are the very first to take advantage of the scheme – and love that local entrepreneurs at the Vine Club have offered to host it.”

The Pet Shed, run by Hannah James in Preston Drove,, received mentoring on the day.

She said: “I found it really inspiring, positive and I have so many new ideas now.W

“When you work on your own you don’t get to bounce ideas off someone like this.

“I found it a great opportunity to take an overall view of my business.”

Mentor Karen Campbell of Karen Campbell Marketing who was providing mentoring on the day, believes that good mentoring is critical for business success.

She said: “I had such a wonderful day meeting so many inspiring and exciting business owners on the mentoring day in Brighton.

“Not only was it a great opportunity to learn about their marketing strategies and needs, but it allowed some really in-depth conversations and ideas generation about how they could use all aspects of marketing in their business.