New Mentor Programme for Agency Owners & Senior Leaders

12 month programme commencing September 14th – Closing date for applications September 3rd

New Mentor Programme for Agency Owners & Senior Leaders

Launching Autumn 2018 Design Enterprise Skillnet Mentoring Programme partners industry leaders with senior design and creative agency owners & directors for a 12-month one-to-one mentoring relationship.

Programme launch training day: Friday, September 14, 2018, 8am–5pm
Closing date for Applications, Monday September 3, 2018.

Member cost: €750
Non-member cost: €1500

This mentoring programme has been developed to inspire confidence as you transition to director or agency owner. Assisted by a leader-of-industry mentor, you will be guided on how to make better-informed decisions about your company, your team and yourself.

The programme is designed specifically for individuals who want to take their thinking around business issues to the next level with the ultimate aim of helping them define their goals and grow their business.

Utilising the wisdom and vision within the IDI and ICAD membership, as well as the more extensive Design Enterprise Skillnet network, we will provide a calibre of mentors that spans the sector. From the preliminary assessment, the programme will match you with a mentor who fits your specific needs best.

A resource to help you move your business or your career from good to exceptional, this mentoring programme will match you with a highly experienced industry confidant. Someone you can discuss issues with, who will help you come to your own conclusions that are right for your business and personal situation.

Programme Outline:

Designed by Professor David Clutterbuck, an international pioneer in coaching and mentoring, who developed the highly successful mentoring programme for the UK Design Business Association in 2011, the programme offers one-to-one, face-to-face mentoring from an industry expert over a 12-month period (a minimum of 6 meetings recommended).

A support programme for both Mentors and Mentees – first training day on September 14th 2018, second training day on December 5th 2018. The training days outline how you can best work together over the 12-month programme.  A key part of the training is guidance on how to decide exactly what your relationship with your mentor will look like – how often you will talk and so on.

Continuous support from DES and dedicated mentoring consultants as well as guidance and resources. Throughout the 12 months, you’ll have access to a dedicated password protected website full of resources, templates, advice and support, and a mentoring expert who can offer any extra guidance as needed. 

How it Works:

  • Complete an application form outlining your reasons for participating in the programme. You are then matched with the mentor who can best support your needs, your experience, your personality and role.
  • You and your mentor are guided in structuring meetings, including content, but you develop your conversations together, with the mentee setting the agenda and driving the process.
  • You work together on your objectives with your highly experienced mentor and they share their wisdom, expertise and advice. 

Who can apply:

MDs, owners and partners of small and medium design agencies, as well as senior executives from medium to large sized agencies. The programme is open to Design Enterprise Skillnet members and non-members.

Benefits of having a mentor:

  • Take time to focus on your agency or creative career.
  • Be guided by someone more experienced.
  • Get a valuable second opinion or alternative perspective from someone who knows the industry.


The mentoring is not the answer to all your business issues, but it is a key initiative in taking your business to the next level. To have access to an expert brain makes all the difference.’ – John Moore, MD at Click Works

About the Mentors:

The mentors on the programme all have sector-specific experience, with differing focuses on scaling a business, to selling a business and developing a senior management team for example.  The mentors have backgrounds in design, digital, marketing and business, and all run, have run or held senior executive roles in agencies.

How to Apply:

Click here to fill out our online Mentee Application Form – please complete by September 3rd.
Please note: We will review and match a cohort of nine applications in early September 2018, and the programme launches on September 14th.


Members €750.
Non-members €1500

Apply to be a Mentor:

The role of the mentor is to support an aspiring industry leader as they move their business or their career from good to great. Your role will be to help them expand their ability to answer their own burning questions and support them to create a framework by which they can make fundamental decisions to drive their business forward.

Give something back and nourish the growing talent in the industry. You’ll be able to take the skills you learn as a mentor back into your own business and make a significant difference to the development of your mentee in a relatively brief space of time.

The Commitment for Mentors:

  • It’s a volunteer role – you volunteer your time for a minimum of 6 one-to-one meetings of 1 hour – 90 minutes over a 12-month timeframe.
  • Participate in the training programme – 2 training days delivered by industry expert and leader Professor David Clutterbuck. 
  • Continuous support from Design Enterprise Skillnet and the Clutterbuck Partnership, including a mentoring expert and resources.

Mentors – How to Apply:

We accept applications from Mentors throughout the year and are actively sourcing a panel of mentors for our inaugural cohort on September 14th 2018. 

Click here to fill out our online Mentor Application Form – please complete by September 3rd. 


The mentoring programme aims to match you with a highly experienced confidant within your industry sector – someone you can discuss issues with, who can help you to improve your decision making by challenging you and at the same time giving you the space to reflect and come to your own conclusions.

Our research on successful mentoring programmes finds that mentees report a variety of outcomes.  Many report that confidence is the key outcome for them and that they are looking for affirmation of their plans and goals.  Running an agency or senior management roles can be lonely places, with little-dedicated resources on an individual level, and to have a personal resource of support and guidance from someone who has experience and can bring perspective is invaluable.

The peer learning from the training days, and the peer networks are also an invaluable resource that continues after the formal training programme ends.