BACKGROUND Business Mentors Finland promotes the employment and wellbeing of the Finnish citizens by assisting micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as communities, to find new and workable business solutions and to develop their entrepreneurship further in their business areas.

OBJECTIVES The priority objective is to encourage the companies and the self-employed to gain success and benefit from their actions within the business area.

CONFIDENTIALITY Confidentiality is the principle in all mentoring actions. The mentor is committed to keep all information received from the entrepreneur, including business secrets, strictly confidential. The mentor is not allowed to conclude similar agreements with competing companies while working with the entrepreneur. The mentor will not use the information received from the entrepreneur for commercial purposes or for operations agreed with another company.

HONESTY Mentors are reliable and honest persons with a good reputation who ensure that all advice and recommendations given are conducted according to Finnish legislation and good business practices.

INDEPENDENCE The main driver for mentors is to assist the entrepreneurs and companies to gain benefit when carrying on their business activities. The mentor cannot simultaneously act as an owner or a consult of the mentored enterprise, neither can the mentor be employed by its subcontractors or business partners. The mentor shall not misuse the partnership to gain benefit for own business purposes.

EXPERTISE The mentors comprise of experienced entrepreneurs, business managers, experts and advisers who assist the entrepreneur in gaining success and benefit while carrying on their business activities. In addition to personal expertise, the mentor has the possibility to exploit the network of mentors and the professional competence and contacts thereof. The competence of the mentors is regularly and systematically maintained, and the new mentors are recruited and trained according to a specified process.

SERVICE ON VOLUNTARY BASIS AND FREE OF CHARGE All actions by the mentors are conducted on voluntary basis and free of charge. However, the entrepreneur, regional office or another organization may pay – if specifically agreed – compensation for direct expenses, such as costs due to travelling or accommodation. Any other compensations (e.g. fees paid by educational institutions, voluntary support payments and membership fees defined in the internal rules of the association and agreed with the board) will be assigned to regional entity of mentors, to be used for mentoring activities and for development of the business actions of mentors.

RESPONSIBILITY The role of the mentor is to act as a voluntary support, discussion partner and adviser. The responsibility for all decisions and actions regarding the operational business rests with the entrepreneur/company. This – as well as professional secrecy – is defined in accordance with the cooperation agreement signed by both parties.

OTHER SERVICES BY THE ASSOCIATION Mentor services are available also for consultations requested by ELY Centres, the Finnish Enterprise Agencies, financial institutions, communities, subregions or equivalent entities whenever there is need for professional help and advice in some business area or whenever there is need for participating in the projects that support entrepreneurship in any region.