Adedayo Ogunleye: SMEs In Nigeria – The Impact Of Business Coaching And Mentoring Towards Boosting Economic Growth

Recently updated on June 13th, 2024 at 10:21 am

Adedayo Ogunleye: SMEs In Nigeria – The Impact Of Business Coaching And Mentoring Towards Boosting Economic Growth

Adedayo Ogunleye: SMEs In Nigeria - The Impact Of Business Coaching And Mentoring Towards Boosting Economic Growth

I. Introduction

A. Importance of business coaching and mentoring for SMEs’ growth

Business coaching and mentoring play an important role for the growth and success of the small and medium enterprises. In today’s world, the business competition is too high that every small and medium enterprise (SMEs) has to face different types of challenges such as lack of fund, lack of expertise, technical issues and lack of knowledge in various sectors of businesses.

SMEs can have advantage of the business coaching and mentoring. By having professional business coach or mentor, SMEs get wide variety of benefits by relating to their expertise, knowledge and experience. The essential role of the business coach or mentor is their personalized advice such as business planning, goal setting, strategy making, business development etc. Just because the business coach or mentor is already experienced, SMEs can avoid many mistakes that they may make if they have no business coach or mentor.

Therefore, SMEs have to invest in business coaching and mentoring to grow their business constantly. SMEs need to strengthen the relationship with the business coach or mentor’s company so that the whole business company can grow relentlessly. If we look at the importance of the business coach or mentor from the perspective of the three people (SMEs, investors and the business coach or mentor’s company), we can see that business coaching and mentoring are very important to make the SMEs grow in this rapidly evolving marketplace.

B. Significance of SMEs in boosting the economy

Small and Medium Entrepreneurs enterprises (SME) contributes greatly in growing the economy of every nation. These are the most important thing in any economy. They are the main source of generating new ideas increasing innovation and creating new business. SMEs are able to create new jobs and improve the standards of living of thousands of people. When the economy continues to grows, there will be influx of foreign investments, which further enhance the economy. The government should focus more on training individuals in modern skills needed in the job market.

To focus on maturing the economy, governments in developing countries take initiatives in helping SMEs, access micro credits; provide additional funding of their businesses and support SMEs in growing their business entrepreneurs.

Through this, alot of people will move from low income paying jobs to high paying jobs. Creating competitive environment will give the SMEs something to compete for. Business environment will improve and attract investments from foreign countries.

Small enterprise or sole proprietorship business is a feasible start up, it will provide more job opportunities for the younger generations. SMEs contribute heavily in any economy, paves the way for further growth in the country. It can be said that Small and Medium Enterprises are a vital part of the economy that can lead to create a sustainable business ecosystem.

II. Understanding Business Coaching and Mentoring

A. Definition and concept

Business coaching and business mentoring are key components of personal and professional development in the corporate world. The terms are often used interchangeably but the two roles are distinct in their purpose and function when it comes to business growth and leadership. Business coaching is based on a structured approach and implies a relationship where the trained coach helps an individual in his or her business skill development, mindset, performance and overall wellbeing for a specific goal or purpose. Business coaching is a topic of interest for those who aspire to become coaches or already serve in business coaching roles. Business mentoring, on the other hand, is a more informal relationship, involving longer commitment, where a mentor, often an experienced professional, shares his or her experiences, insights and knowledge with a less experienced individual, helping him or her to grow and enhance career progression.

The approach is built on the collaboration between the coach and the client. A client-coach relationship is co-created at the start of the coaching process. At the core of the relationship is the client’s innate power and potential and what the coach can do to unlock it and make it soar. By providing safe space for a client to reflect, feedback and guide, the coach can help clients gain clarity for their objectives, overcome obstacles and spell out an action plan to achieve the desired outcome. By nature, business coach is future-oriented and results-driven. It is also people-focused because the game is always about people and how we move each other. Business coaching adheres to the principle that people hold all the solutions within them for any current and future problem that they may encounter. The coach, in this case, serves as a facilitator of those solutions. That is why some business coaches refer to themselves as ‘Questioner’. It also aligns with the principle that we can shift our perspectives and mental frames to gain clarity for our objectives. In this approach, the coach supports clients in discovering and effecting change through powerful questioning, active listening and productive feedback.

In contrast, business mentoring is based on the exchange of knowledge, skills and experience between a mentor and a mentee, mainly to support the latter’s developmental and career advancement. Mentors are role models, confidants and trusted advisors, who share their experiences and wisdom with the mentee to support, encourage and guide them. The relationship between a mentor and a mentee is driven by mutual respect, trust and open communication, and allows for the effective use of the mentor’s knowledge, wisdom and experience, primarily for professional development but depending on the nature of the relationship, it may also lead to personal development and self-awareness. Compared with coaching, mentoring is more relationship-orientated, holistic and typically takes place over a longer period of time.

Business coaching and mentoring are very important, as they enable us to unlock the potential of individuals and organisations by providing precious support, guidance and inspiration that may be required at different stages of their professional lives. Coaching is intended to help professionals build skills, set goals and increase performance in a specific domain. In contrast, mentoring aims to transfer knowledge and expertise, accelerate careers and improve professional growth. While many confuse these key approaches to development, both are fundamental to develop leadership skills, increase innovation and foster a culture of development within a business context. Let the power of coaching and mentoring help you and your organisation to reach your full potential and succeed in your business landscape.

B. Difference between coaching and mentoring

Coaching and mentoring are two ways that people can develop professionally. The main difference between coaching and mentoring is the level of involvement and how much time it will take. Coaching is usually a shorter length of time. At the same time, coaching is about skills to be able to do something. Most people who have a job will have a coach of some kind helping them to be good at what they do. This is where the coach works closely with the person and helps them to solve problems, overcome challenges and work on key skills. In contrast, mentoring is a much longer term relationship. It is not structured and formal like coaching, but is usually between someone who has experience and is more knowledgeable and someone else who is starting out in their professional life and who needs advice. Both parties trust each other and normally take responsibility for the ongoing process of the relationship.

Unlike coaching, task-goals are peripheral rather than central to mentoring and development is more often in broader areas such as career advancement. Unlike coaching, mentoring is less specific, more open-ended and enabling, and focuses more on the long term and on a person’s holistic development and becoming. Coaching is more results-oriented than mentoring and may thus exert some pressure on the individual. The differences between coaching and mentoring offer individuals the chance to pick what may best aid their development and goal achievement, and better equip them for their individual needs in the world of work.

C. Benefits of business coaching and mentoring for SMEs

Business coaching and mentoring can really help small/medium-sized enterprises to succeed in nowadays business environment. It can benefit SMEs by providing essential guidance/support to owners/leaders, helping them to learn and achieve objectives much quicker than otherwise possible, looks at the different ways of developing a business by discussing the different options available by providing advice, strategic thinking and motivational skills. A mentor can provide an extensive network of industry contacts and resources that can be helpful for a business, boosting potential for success by improving leadership skills and decision making abilities that can have a positive effect on performance thus increasing productivity/profitability of business. Overall, business coaching and mentoring for SMEs can really help them succeed in nowadays business environment providing an effective platform to learning, growth and success.

III. Key Areas of Focus for Business Coaching and Mentoring

A. Developing business strategy and planning

Business coaching and mentoring plays an important apprentice in the development of strategic and well planned business model. There are certain areas of focus that business owners and leader should look into when looking for guidance in this area. Any business that intends to grow should study the internal and external environment of the business including a SWOT analysis of business objectives, mission and vision to refine their direction and ensure that they are well founded. Setting achievable goals and objectives is very key for effective business strategy. Business’s mission and Vision can be leverage in the setup to set attainable goals and objectives, which can provide a road map to achieve success and coaching providers can provide frameworks and insights to assist in establishing appropriate stretching goals; whilst ensuring that they are achievable. It’s important to develop a strong market strategy by studying the market and define the target markets, evaluating competitions and developing a positioning statement to ensure sustainable competitive advantage while enhancing the brand identity. Business mentor or coaches can provide industry perspective and trends, helping clients study their market and formulate a strong market strategy. Business working capital can be one of the hardest aspects of business management. Business planning and financial planning can be beneficial, having a robust financing plan to enable a business furnish its working capital so as to carry out day-to-day business activity is determined on cash inflows and outflows. Therefore, managers should understand the principles of business finance; develop a budget proposing projections for income, expenditure and cashflow. Business mentor or coaches can helps in developing adequate financial projections (balance sheets, income statement, cash flow statement), budgeting management and provide financial advisory to ensure a successful business. Business coaching and mentoring in business strategy and planning development can support businesses in unleashing their potentials and growth to overcome challenges and maximize opportunities towards sustainable competitive advantage in today’s market.

B. Improving leadership and management skills

Some key areas that coaching and mentoring can support to enhance leadership skills and management skills include strong communication, strategic thinking and decision making, emotional intelligence, time management, and organisation. Firstly, communication is an essential skill for individuals to effective displays leadership skills. By engaging with individuals in a business coaching and mentoring relationship, an individual can learn to enhance their communication skills, thus enabling them to communicate their vision to team members, and as well as provide constructive feedback.

Secondly, strategic thinking and decision making is a fundamental area to focus on, to enhance leadership and management skills. An individual will be exposed to various challenges in a working environment. Following a mentoring relationship, they will be able to think critically about any situational analyses or decisions that need to be made to enable the organisation to succeed. Coaching is key to developing emotional intelligence for the development of leadership and management skills. This is essential as the ability to understand emotions of others stimulates elements such as relationship building, conflict management, and the ability to influence others. Individuals who are emotionally intelligent also tend to be inspiring and trustworthy.

Lastly, time and organisation refers to the ability of an individual to effectively organise themselves and task, in order to perform at their optimum level. This hinges on their ability to maintain priorities, perfect time management, and resource allocations.

C. Enhancing marketing and sales strategies

Business coaching and mentorship strongly support the field of marketing and sales. By specifically providing guidance and support for a business, key focus areas can be considered to strengthen marketing and sales strategies.

One critically important aspect is market research and analysis. With the support of a business coach or mentor, a key area of investigation would be the market trends and the ways customers interact with products to determine if it’s fit for the market sales. This information can allow the business coach and the business owner to work together and explain the needs of the marketing strategy with educational experience. Their combined knowledge, in turn, can lead the business to discover new gaps in the market where the business can position itself differently from its competitors.

Another essential aspect is establishing a strong brand identity and a proper value proposition. The identity of a brand is a buying incentive. A value proposition, on the other hand, can establish a business’s market value by providing promises, benefits, and features about how it improves the customer’s life. A business needs to create identifying and selling features, so customers understand its products. This can help the business recruit and retain customers while making its business successful.

Lastly, sales training and technique are required to increase the conversion rate from reach qualified leads. This means that proper sales skills need to be in place in order to translate the marketing message into a sale. It is essential to improve negotiation and communication skills in the sales area so the proper sales message can be transmitted accordingly.

Business coaching and mentorship can provide fundamental training to increase marketing and sales performance. This, in turn, will contribute to the overall success and growth of the business.

D. Enhancing financial management and budgeting

Financial management is a vital element of business operations and by honing into key areas within this large remits, business coaches and mentors can make a real and excellent impact on an organisations bottom line. Prioritising the areas of budget creation, costing, financial planning and cash flow management within coaching and mentoring programmes allows coachees and mentees to really get to grips with the financial components that often preoccupy a Board’s mindset. This can equip them with a thorough understanding of any financial issues within the business, and how to rectify them. For instance, learning when to create a budget and what to include; what and who to cost out, and how to set a budget; how to evaluate a company’s overheads against its turnover. In doing so, a coach or mentor can equip an individual or team with the knowledge and understanding that financial decision-making often requires. A professional and personable facilitator, who acts as a business coach or mentor, can give both master classes and one-on-one support to nurture an individual’s talent in this sensitive area. As a result, individuals can feel empowered to take charge of their own workshop or company’s financial fortunes and improve the bottom line, which can certainly contribute to a successful business.

E. Streamlining operations and processes

Besides honing the character of an executive, one of the most significant areas of emphasis in business coaching and mentoring centre around streamlining operations and processes to maximise efficiency and performance, many organizations are burdened by unnecessary bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and redundancies embedded within their workflows. By performing a diagnostic on an organisation’s processes, a business coach or mentor can provide strategic insight into ways to optimise an organisation’s operations for maximum effectiveness. This process may include analysing how the organisation currently operates and then implementing formalised best practices, policies and processes, and a culture emphasising continual improvement. A business coach or mentor can guide a leader or team by providing a framework for effective communication, cross-functional collaboration and leveraging of data and technology to drive a company toward its goals. By assisting leaders and organisations with sharpening their focus on, and enhancing their execution of, their core operational objectives, a coach or mentor can ‘cut through’ the morass of issues to help businesses optimise operations or processes. The ability to do this has been proven to be among the most valuable offerings that business coaches and mentors bring to the table to help businesses and executives reach their goals. Not only can the right business coach or mentor expedite an executive’s ‘ascent’ up the company ladder, but often they can accelerate the development of entire teams or an organization itself. In doing so, effective business coaches and mentors will frequently point the focus of executives and organisations toward streamlining operations so overall productivity and impact can be enhanced, costs can be reduced, and value for customers increased. Ultimately, by sharpening the focus of executives and organisations on the essentials in terms of streamlining operations and processes, the path toward long-term success and competitiveness should be made easier and more accessible for businesses in this dynamic business environment.

IV. Role of Business Coaching and Mentoring in SMEs’ Growth

A. Identifying and overcoming challenges and obstacles

Business coaching and mentoring is a powerful tool to spur growth for any Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) regardless of the space or size of a business. However, you can’t dodge the hurdles that weaken the path for it to succeed. If you are battling with challenges along your ride, identify them, recognise possible consequences, and take action to overcome them. A good coaching and mentoring plan must consider the limitations of an SME, both physically and financially. Compared to large corporate organisations, an SME operates with limited resources such as intense labour shortages, financial restrictions, and minuscule marketing budgets. Hence, the coach and/or the mentor must identify the major weaknesses of the business and create a checklist for eliminating these weaknesses. Resistance to change and lack of awareness are some of the major hurdles that SMEs face when it comes to coaching and mentoring. It is possible that there might be some top executives who are skeptical or find it hard to accept the fact that they will have to learn new skills to run their business. This may also apply to their employees as well. You can overcome the hurdles and lead your SME to a wide array of benefits by enhancing your extrovert personality, improve your social and business network, seek professional help while making organisational changes, providing mandatory training on the benefits of coaching and mentoring, building a favourable culture that embraces criticism, and promotes the idea of being open to change and feedback, among others. You can make coaching and mentoring a success only if you and your employees are willing to invest in training programs that develop your skills and knowledge.

B. Providing a fresh perspective and innovative solutions

Entrepreneurs and SMEs have an ever-changing environment in which to scale and grow, and part of the solution could be effective business coaching and mentoring. With many years of working experience, and proven success in their own fields, business coaches and mentors know what it takes to handle many business issues. More importantly, these professionals are capable of helping SMEs see through the same challenges faced by them. Therefore, when SMEs engage these mentors or coaches, they get a different perspective on issues. A fresh perspective can lead to innovative solutions, and having an unbiased outsider opinion of a business could help SMEs make better decisions. Besides offering ideas to solve immediate challenges, business coaches and mentors can also offer insight into strategies through personalised coaching sessions and personal mentoring. In a highly competitive space, the ability to adapt and innovate is crucial for any business to thrive. Business coaches and mentors can help SME manage change effectively, and thereby, drive growth. SMEs can also learn to be more creative, come up with innovative ideas, and leverage new opportunities promptly. In a dynamic and diverse business landscape, the ability to adapt, innovate, and thrive on change will separate top performers from other organisations.

C. Building confidence and decision-making skills

Confidence and decision-making are crucial components of business coaching and mentoring. For instance, any small and medium enterprises (SMEs) growth would contribute to the country’s economy. SMEs tend to face more uncertainties and challenges in today’s business environment. These contribute to the need for leaders and teams to make decisions more effectively and more quickly. Hence, confidence and decision-making play the role of driving force and enhancing essential abilities that every owner should demonstrate in the organisation. Nurturing confidence and decision-making skills serve as cornerstone which gives positive contributions towards managers and employees in areas of teamwork, higher performance and generates initiatives. Therefore, it is fair to say that business coaches and mentors are equally important not to overlook in developing the confidence and decision-making skill of leaders and employees in SMEs. Their efforts would significantly enhance the SME’s ability to respond effectively in the current competitive market. For example, business coaches would help leaders to become confident and clear when making decisions, by enabling and coaching various aspects of developing effective frameworks or process in making the decisions. Having a mentor in SMEs is even more valuable; a mentor would assist in providing guidance through questions to encourage employees to think independently and professionally. Then, employees tend to take charge of their responsibilities, holding themselves accountable. Through this process, confidence in handling challenges and quality decision-making are nurtured. Overall, the ability of the SMEs in terms of confidence and decision-making are the significant tools in nurture growth mindset of people, which is essential to a successful company.

D. Enhancing personal and professional growth of entrepreneurs and employees

Business coaching and mentoring provides entrepreneurs and employees a structured approach to their lifelong learning and development. Business coaches can help individuals recognise, develop and apply new skills that maximise their potential. Businesses that provide coaching and mentoring to their entrepreneurs and employees will foster, grow and sustain their employees’ skills, confidence and development. A structured coaching and mentoring programme will enable entrepreneurs to make more informed strategic decisions, develop strong leadership skills, improve accountability and build confidence to drive their business forward from start-up to growth. When coaching and mentoring SME employees, strong technical and interpersonal skills are required through a structured approach to support, advise and guide employees on their development. This means that business mentors and coaches could help employees reach their full potential and improve their skills, which makes SMEs more competitive for sustained growth. SMEs that prioritise training and development can therefore cultivate high-performing, motivated and innovative teams and workforces. Coaching and mentoring support workers to complement, collaborate and work better together without friction inside and outside the workplace. Not only will employees become an asset to the organisation, but businesses continually investing in their employees’ learning and development can also reap the benefits of increased productivity, encourage employee retention and improve morale. It also ensures employee engagement, encourages collaboration and inspires creativity.

V. Case Studies and Success Stories

A. Explanation of successful SMEs’ growth due to business coaching and mentoring

Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) are the backbones of economic growth and innovation of many countries. However, entrepreneurship is not always an easy journey. The importance of strategic guidance and support for SMEs has become particularly key during these challenging times associated with the COVID-19 pandemic where many businesses experienced closure and remained closed. Challenging times also bring forth new opportunities. Embracing this silver lining, many SMEs are thriving and embarking on new ventures as they experience a renewed sense of confidence and an impetus to rethink and reshape their businesses.

This set of case studies answers the questions: How has business coaching and/or mentoring helped SMEs grow, innovate and remain resilient during and post-COVID-19? This collection consists of few in-depth case studies spanning different countries– and diverse sectors

Case Study 1: “Empowering Women Entrepreneurs: The Success Story of Blossom Boutique”

Blossom Boutique is a women’s clothing boutique founded by an entrepreneur who had a great brand identity and dedicated customers but couldn’t scale her business and turn a profit as quickly as she’d hoped. She enrols in a business coaching programme geared toward women entrepreneurs, enabling her to one-on-one coaching and peer support. She learns about marketing, merchandising and financial management, making key changes, including expanding her business into an online shop. Sales double in one year, and the business becomes a model of women entrepreneurship.

Case Study 2: “From Local to Global: The Journey of Artisanal Foods Ltd.”

Artisanal Foods Ltd is a small family business producing bespoke gourmet food products. They wanted to tap into the international opportunities but lacked the experience and resources they needed to succeed. The marketing company of Artisanal Foods Ltd approached our university for help by enrolling on a mentoring programme designed for SMEs eager to develop international business. They received strategic advice from industry experts on export development, market regulations and entry strategies. They also learnt a series of transferrable skills they could apply whenever they wanted to expand into new markets. With their new knowledge, the support of the mentors and the ability to access international business networks, they started exporting their product, partnering with other companies and developing distribution channels across the globe. Today, Artisanal Foods Ltd is recognised worldwide as a successful company that benefitted from the experience, knowledge and support of a skilled mentor.

These case studies further highlight the impact of coaching and mentoring on SME growth and success. From overcoming challenges to bringing about new opportunities or mindset expansions, both SMEs have harnessed the power of coaching and mentoring programmes, making them indispensable pillars along their road to excellence and innovation. In a time when the entrepreneurial ecosystem is changing at an unprecedented pace, coaching and mentoring programmes must be seen as the helping hand that enables more individuals and enterprises to embrace entrepreneurship, which is ultimately the road to economic success.

VI. Overcoming Barriers to Business Coaching and Mentoring

A. Lack of awareness and understanding

The lack of awareness and understanding about business coaching and mentoring continues to be a significant roadblock to greater progress and takes us to point number two: how to overcome the obstacle of the lack of awareness and understanding about business coaching and mentoring among individuals and organisations? There are different ways to maximise raising awareness and understanding about the value of business coaching and mentoring, which involves a comprehensive strategy requiring communication campaigns, education programmes and interactive workshops that demystify and clarify the concepts of business coaching and mentoring.

Furthermore, increasing receptivity across the organisation will be vital in removing barriers to awareness, and in lowering perceived barriers of impact in not knowing enough or how it will be valued. In order to do so, leaders must act to endorse the coaching and mentoring cause. This includes taking a proactive stance in publicising and promoting the benefits of coaching and mentoring to the individual and organisation, and increasing the volume of conversations. This includes raising awareness through publicising training and development, information sessions and removing barriers to access. Feedback is also a key aspect of this.

Moreover, harnessing the availability of technology and digital platforms can help meet the mismatch created by the gap of awareness and knowledge in business coaching and mentoring through online resources, webinars and virtual coaching sessions from anywhere and everywhere.

The suggestions and approaches aimed at overcoming such barriers to business coaching and mentoring are therefore multifaceted. They combine education that enhances awareness and understanding, communication that is open and tolerant of mistakes, leadership that is supportive and embraces a coaching mindset, and technological innovations that enhance both access to a mentor and scope for growth. Organisations that proactively tackle these key challenges can unlock the benefits of coaching and mentoring to enhance performance and support talent development so that they can achieve sustainable growth in tomorrow’s more challenging business environment.

B. Affordability and resource constraints

A very common barrier to investing in business coaching and mentoring is lack of affordability and resource constraints. While most organisations acknowledge the benefits of coaching and mentoring employees separately or as a group, the cost of hiring the time of an external professional to provide these services or the time for employees to step away from day-to-day responsiblities to engage in self-growth, is where most organisations struggle with. A barrier to investing in business coaching and mentoring services is the cost and availability of resources. Seeing that achieving the goal of cultivating a workforce and organisation filled with purpose is of utmost importance, organisations should take a closer look at creative alternatives. Examples of alternatives to investing in expensive coaching externally and unavailable resources include online coaching, group coaching sessions within the business and mentor internally. There are various cost-effective solutions to any affordability and resource constraint and it just requires being innovative with how time is used. For example, turning to internal resources to cultivate a culture of peer-to-peer mentoring by leveraging talent internally amongst employees can assist with bridging the gap when it comes to affordability and resource constraints barriers. Without being creative and innovative with these affordability and resource constraints, your employees might not be able to attain their full potential because they lack guidance and suggestions on how to achieve desired outcomes in their jobs (to your benefit). If businesses take into chronological order the necessary steps to ensure a cost-effective solution, they should invest internally first to reap the rewards, rather than investing externally when an internal motivated and sounding board is already present. One does not need to hire a professional coach and mentor in order to reap the benefits that come with coaching. End result: in order to cultivate a workforce and organisation filled with purpose, it is highly advised to invest in business coaching and mentoring despite the affordability and resource constraints.

C. Finding the right coach or mentor

Identifying and overcoming blockages or obstacles are crucial steps in achieving effective coaching and mentoring for your needs and goals. For many individuals, identifying an appropriate mentor or coach and overcoming blockages and obstacles to this process can be an arduous and very complicated task. Blockages and obstacles can include: not having a clear understanding of what you would like to achieve from your coaching or mentoring process, uncertainty about the type of mentor or coach you need, not knowing where to begin looking for guidance, limited access to reputable guides due to their availability, time, financial constraints, and not knowing the appropriate questions to ask your guide. Identifying the kind of guidance and support that you need is a necessary block that needs to be addressed prior to finding a guide – this is a prerequisite for effective and results-oriented coaching or mentoring relationship. Planning your questions in advance, researching and reading about the field, area or discipline that you are interested in, engaging in self-reflection, asking others about how they found a mentor or coach, tapping into existing professional networks to identify coaches and mentors, and utilizing virtual or professional mentoring organisations are tangible steps to overcoming this barrier.

VII. Government Support and Initiatives

A. Role of government in promoting business coaching and mentoring for SMEs

Given the significance of business coaching and mentor to build business acumen, leadership and strategic thinking, it is pertinent that government assist SMEs to be part of the process by providing sources and financial aids for them to access coaching and mentoring programs. It is the belief of most people that it is the responsibility of government to ensure that SMEs participate in programmes that would enhance their entrepreneurial knowledge and skills and contribute to the development of the nation’s economy. Government can partner with professionals with experience in business advising process and operate in the aspect of coaching and mentoring as a result of industrial experience, businesses management and other knowledge development. Collaboration with non-governmental organisations can also be a strategy to promote coaching and mentoring in smaller scale businesses. Awareness campaigns can also be carried out to sensitise SME owners about the potential benefits of business coaching and mentor and how they can utilise the skill and knowledge of experienced mentors to become better in their business operations. Government could also develop and fund a scheme dedicated exclusively to SMEs. By investing in coaching and mentoring programmes that suit the specific needs of SMEs, government can enhance their capacity to enter or remain in markets and contribute to job creation and economic growth by assisting them to cope with challenges, allocate resources and operate efficiently.

B. Funding options and grants available for SMEs to access coaching and mentoring

SMEs that strive to improve their business acumen and enhance skills development, have the unique opportunity to benefit from a wide range of funding options available to access competent and relevant coaching and mentoring programmes.

Coaching and mentoring remains a highly effective tool for SMEs to support and position them for success through continuous learning and development. This partnership between coaches or mentors and SMEs is an important way of sharing knowledge and expertise relative to the current challenges facing businesses.

Numerous organisations and governments offer funding to SMEs who embark on coaching and mentoring processes as this provides defined solutions for managers or leaders to nurture high performance. The breadth of different funding options and grants available to facilitate SMEs into coaching and mentoring services, can be used to secure quality support from a coach.

Through engaging with a paid professional coach, who has thorough business experience, SMEs can gain intricate insight into the strategies needed to navigate further challenges; as well as provide practical guidance on improving and refining ongoing activities. Consequently, entering into a one-to-one business relationship with an experienced coach can strengthen leadership capabilities, enhance internal processes and stimulate greater innovation in SMEs.

From a long-term perspective, manager learners and their organisations derive considerable benefit from coaching and mentoring interventions within SMEs, leading to an increase in productivity and competitiveness within the market. Additionally, SMEs can leverage coaching and mentoring to ensure they operate efficiently and effectively in the pursuit of sustainable growth and market success.

VIII. Conclusion

A. Recap of the importance of business coaching and mentoring for SMEs’ growth

Business coaching and mentoring plays a significant role in the growth and success of a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME). Coaching involves engaging the owner to provide guidance in developing new business strategies, drawing from the coaches’ knowledge. Similarly, mentoring encompasses the same role in nurturing an owner’s leadership capabilities. These services seek to develop a SME owner’s capabilities and improve SME performance.

In some instances, a business owner may find it difficult to navigate through challenges such as poor strategy or low productivity. Consequently, business coaching guides the SME towards transformation. Mentoring also focuses on leadership development, evolving the owner’s contribution and achievements in their company. Furthermore, a mentor can provide feedback, a technique that may not be feasible among peers.

It is safe to conclude that business coaching and mentoring are essential to a SME’s growth. These services are valuable in assisting SME owners identify areas of improvement, increase productivity, and achieve desired results. The knowledge of those with experience can influence decision-making and instill the confidence necessary for success.

B. Potential economic impact of SMEs’ growth on the economy

Business coaching and mentoring support the growth and development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This is because business coaches give personalized advice, support and expertise to SME owners regarding their business. They train them to be good leaders and help them, find solution to their challenges. They advice SMEs on good strategies to grow their businesses. Mentors help them improve their productivity and set achievable goals. Through small scale business coaching and mentoring advice, entrepreneurs make good decisions. The information coaches and mentors give to entrepreneurs can be life changing as it opens their mind to what’s possible. Small-scale businesses greatly improve their productivity and output after their sessions with the experts. Business coaches walk entrepreneurs through their challenges using their personal experience and trained eyes. Mentors and coaches help SMEs reach their set goal and make “money” with little or no difficulty. In conclusion, business coaching and mentoring significantly impact and propel the growth and development of SMEs. They do this by providing experienced advice and feedback to SME, helping them identify opportunities for improvement in their firms.


About the author: Adedayo Ogunleye

Adedayo Ogunleye is as known as Dayo TheManPointa. He is a Lawyer, Business Coach, Management Consultant and a Researcher.

Adedayo Ogunleye is the founder of AOBC Academy (Adedayo Ogunleye Business Coaching Academy) and Neonmark Consulting.

Adedayo Ogunleye is passionate about helping business owners integrating the principle of success in their businesses and proffer solutions to business problems.

Contact details for Adedayo Ogunleye

  • Facebook page and Instagram page: @iamadedayoogunleye
  • Email:
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SMEs In Nigeria – The Impact Of Business Coaching And Mentoring Towards Boosting Economic Growth By Adedayo Ogunleye is a sponsored post by Adedayo Ogunleye.

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