The Business Mentors

We provide Mentoring, Training and Business Advice and Innovation Support to Pre & newly formed Start ups, Entrepreneurs, Inventors, Social Enterprise and rapidly expanding small and medium businesses that either
don’t have the know how, confidence, experience or resource to grow effectively and efficiently.

”Good Looking, Intelligent, Insightful, and Experienced ….”…That’s what our Mums say anyway.

Bernard Ashford is our ‘Serial Entrepreneur’ – he set up his first business back in 1993 and his latest in 2021. – Open for Non-Executive Director Roles

Bernard has been involved in Start Up and Growth SME Businesses in Training, Security, CRM Consultancy , Marketing, Bars, Restaurants, Travel Agents, Solar Energy, Digital Locks, Mobile Apps, Events Planning, Wedding Venue, Delicatessen,  Digital Marketing and Printing just to name a ‘few’ he is a FIOEE – Fellow of the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs
Bernard has also had ‘proper jobs’ and a Senior management and Director level career in large companies in Retail,  Technology,  Consultancy and Investment Management for names such as River Island, Gartmore and Microsoft UK as Head of Operations EPG.

Bernard has been Mentoring Senior Managers, Graduates and SME Business Owners and Start ups for 20+ years. Bernard is an APM – Accredited Practitioner Mentor  (IIC&M)  Bernard is also an SMEi Horizon2020 ‘Expert Coach’ and European Innovation Council approved Expert, he also provides Business Support to Brighton University, Nottingham Trent University, Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP , Devon County Council, and Portsmouth University Business Growth programmes

QI FACT :Bernard was a published poet at the tender age of 11

Alex Shapland is our ‘Wise, Cool Head’ – a former partner of PwC , following a career in financial services that has spanned more than 35 years.

Alex photoAlex is an experienced coach and mentor working with senior individuals in the corporate world.
As a partner with PwC and regulator his work focused on start-up businesses supporting individuals and management teams seeking to establish an   appropriate infrastructure for a successful business.

He uses these skills and experience in his UKM  activities as a Non-Executive Director, Board Trustee, Mentor and Coach.

QI FACT : Alex once played golf against Sevy Ballesteros………for money !

 Julie Constable is our ‘Marketing Mentor’ (guru) – She has featured in Marketing Magazine’s POWER 100 list – which quite simply ‘ represents the most influential people in the UK Marketing Industry’

Juliepiccy (3)

For the last 16 years Julie has worked as an intermediary pitch consultant for Agency Insight, AAR and most recently MAA working right across the agency spectrum. With over 150 client pitches under her belt, she has worked with every sector, size of client, budget and time frame imaginable. It means she knows the agency landscape well and can design a professional process for anyone that needs to tender their agency contracts.

Julie also Consults with and Mentors Agencies directly auditing their client relationships, pitch processes and helping them improve their business performance.

Julie is also a Fellow of The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing

QI FACT: Julie is a direct blood decedent of William the Conqueror

Alan Ward is our manufacturing, IP , Business Development and Access to finance expert. with over 25 years of commercial and operation management experience. – Open for Non-Executive Director Roles  

alanwardAlan has worked in senior operational, sales and business development roles for organisations from start-ups to SMEs and major corporations across a diverse range of industries. these include petrochemical, clean energy, waste management, manufacturing and product development. 

Alan speaks at various venues on business and product development topics and is currently organising a major, month’s long event on behalf of the Primary and Secondary schools within Reading and with the Bloodhound SSC world land speed record team. The aim of the event it is to promote engineering, science and manufacturing within the UK. 

QI FACT: Alan is a named  patented inventor for a desk that can be unpacked and erected within 60 seconds

Paul is our brand, strategic & communications expert. with over 30 years in the world of advertising & brand consultancy in both the Public and Private sectors. 

Paul helps companies define their brand, core values & how best to advertise and market themselves. Paul has worked in most industry sectors, with many blue chip clients & quite a  few start ups.

His experiences working with Saatchi & Saatchi, DDB, Cheil  Worldwide & brand experts Interband and Millward Brown means he has  numerous skills in brand strategy, brand asset management, communications  strategy & planning & creative positioning.

QI FACT: Paul’s favourite business suit is one he borrowed from Jose Mourinho & ‘forgot’ to give it back.


Some of our clients:

We can offer : Accredited Practitioner Mentors (IIC&M) and Approved Business Growth Service ‘Experts’