Today, Instagram is announcing the launch of its first Small Business Mentorship programme in the UK, in partnership with the UK’s leading champion of small businesses – Small Business Britain. Aimed at supporting the country’s entrepreneurs and small businesses after an unprecedented 18 months, the mentorship programme will celebrate their creativity and resilience, as many have turned to Instagram to survive and thrive.
The programme is part of Instagram’s continued effort to support and uplift the UK’s small businesses as the country recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. It will empower and equip small business owners with the practical tools and social commerce opportunities available on Instagram, and inspire them to grow their digital businesses.
Over the past year, Instagram has launched a host of functionalities to support businesses globally and help them connect with their customers, including: short-form video content creation through Reels, updates to the Insights tool which gives businesses more information about how their content is performing, and continually innovating its Shopping tools such as Checkout for businesses to reach new audiences.
The mentorship programme will offer five UK based small businesses:
- A content workshop afternoon with one of the UK’s top Instagram creators, covering creative tips and tricks, and developing a three-month Instagram content plan.
- An hour-long virtual coaching session with a business mentor.
- Three monthly hour-long sessions with an Instagram product expert, to discuss how to best use Instagram for Business.
- £1,000 worth of ad credits donated by Instagram – to support your growth ambitions.
Over the course of a three month programme, the winners will benefit from expert best practice and practical advice to ensure they reach their full potential. Any small businesses in the UK can enter through a simple application process, here.
Instagram’s Brand Development Lead, Gord Ray, comments: “The past 18 months have been tough for small businesses and this mentorship programme is about supporting and helping business owners hone their creative and commercial skills in the digital space. This is a real opportunity for those looking to learn more about social commerce, creator content strategy and Instagram advertising. Small businesses have an unprecedented opportunity to re-shape the way people engage with, and buy from their brands – we want to make sure they seize it. We hope this mentorship programme will bring ambitious small businesses together, encourage creativity, and help ‘the nation of shopkeepers’ accomplish great things in the run up to the Holiday period, and beyond.”
Michelle Ovens CBE, founder, Small Business Britain said: “It is vital for small businesses to develop digital skills to flourish and thrive. Instagram is a powerful channel for engaging audiences, and its importance has only increased during the pandemic. We are excited to be working with them on this programme which offers a really great opportunity for ambitious entrepreneurs.”
The deadline for entry submissions is midnight on 19th September and winners will be contacted directly after 27th September. The mentorship programme will commence in October 2021 and run until December 2021. All businesses which submit an entry to the programme will receive a specifically curated Digital Toolkit, compiled by Instagram, which details best practice guides for social commerce on Instagram.