Meet our small business mentors of the year!


In 2023, we’ve been able to support thousands of businesses and offer countless hours of mentoring to help them grow.  This is all thanks to the amazing support of our mentors who all volunteer their time to help small businesses and charities. 

To show our appreciation, every year we announce our Mentors of the Year 🎉  These are mentors who have stood out to us through the support and energy that they’ve given to our community.  

Come and meet them here ⬇️

Most mentoring sessions – Ian D.

Ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together for Ian from the BT team who has supported 117 businesses with his mentoring sessions this year! 

Ian is a huge champion for small businesses and we’re really lucky to have him supporting and cheering on our mentees!  You’ll find Ian hosting mentoring sessions and Masterclasses for our community, on a net-walk meeting small business owners, or running a JiJitsu class in his spare time. 

Ian is the Programme Manager for BT and has a huge skillset including Digital Marketing, Business strategy and more – all of which he brings to his mentoring sessions.  Through his skills and experience, Ian has been able to help amazing businesses from all over the UK to thrive.  You can read how he helped Gary to increase his sales by 1400% here and he’s also helped Keri from Snow Windows to maximise her Facebook ads so she’s generating 1000s of views on her ads!

Here’s what our mentees have to say about Ian: 

“Thank you for your feedback on my website strategy. Your no-nonsense approach was the prompt I needed to make the crucial changes to my strategy, messaging and website that I had been putting off for some time. I guess I just needed someone else to confirm what I already knew! It’s got me unstuck and I now feel like I am making some real progress that’s going to make all the difference! So thank you 🙏🏻

Ian is a great mentor who is definitely an expert in his field. I came away with so much more understanding into the areas of branding and marketing that I need right now. I am clearer about my next steps and that’s valuable, I can’t imagine how many mistakes or how costly my advertising would be without proper strategies in place. I’ve got some work to do and I’ll be looking for another session. I would highly recommend Ian to anyone having similar issues, he knows his work and explains it in such simple terms anyone will come away feeling the same. Thank you all at Digital Boost 🙏🏿 You’re providing an awesome service

Most Masterclasses hosted – Louis I.

Meet Louis, one of the awesome mentors in our community who’s hosted the most Masterclasses for us this year! Louis is a Marketing Manager who after many years working in the digital world, went on to complete a Masters in Business in Madrid 😀

Louis is a joy to work with and his Masterclasses are fantastic.  Every presentation is well thought-out, provides the audience with tangible takeaways and always ensures that everyone leaves with more digital skills than they came with! This year Louis has hosted Masterclasses about sales, AI and customer experience to support our community as they grow their businesses.  

Here’s what Louis’ mentees had to say:

Thank you so much for your time, Louis! I was left with so many takeaways and things to action upon… looking forward to putting some into practice. Appreciate your support.

We wish to take a moment to express our heartfelt gratitude for the remarkable guidance you provided in the area of website marketing. Your willingness to share your expertise and insights has made a profound impact on our understanding and approach to effectively promoting our website. Your mentorship has been invaluable in helping us navigate the complexities of online marketing strategies.

Marketing mentor – Gurpreet D.

The first, much-coveted award of Marketing Mentor goes to… Gurpreet! Gurpreet has been with us since 2021 and in that time he’s provided support to hundreds of businesses around the world. 

Gurpreet is an award-winning marketing expert with over 18 years helping businesses to deliver exceptional marketing strategies. He’s also the founder of Digital D, a marketing agency that aims to create tangible marketing campaigns that convert!

What makes Gurpreet such an amazing mentor? He’s excellent at breaking down complex marketing problems and turning them into digestible and actionable steps for our businesses to take.  Our community particularly love how Gurpreet can tailor his advice to meet a mentee’s prior knowledge and how confident he leaves them feeling after the session! 

Here’s what Gurpreet’s mentees had to say: 

It was a very informative and practical session. I learned in an hour more than I could in a day or two. Gurpreet helped me to understand how Google ads work and how to set it up. He was polite and professional, he is an expert in digital advertising. Highly recommended.

I’m immensely grateful for your guidance on how to increase traffic to our website. Your insights and advice have been invaluable. They did not only help me understand the intricacies of website marketing but also gave me the confidence to implement effective strategies to enhance my online presence. Your mentorship has truly made a positive impact.

Marketing Mentor (2!) – Tom P.

Marketing is such a massive topic and we simply couldn’t pick one mentor! So let us introduce you to Tom from the BT team, our joint Marketing Mentor for 2023! 😊 Tom has been an enormous support to our community this year. He’s helped our mentees to take their marketing to the next level and truly grow their businesses! He’s been a particular support to Thalia and has helped her to keep growing Sparkle Lighting ✨

Tom mentors through BT’s volunteering programme. He works on the Digital Products team and has experience leading teams to develop products from lifecycle right through to launch! His skills and experience are vital to helping our mentees to thrive and we’re so grateful to have him volunteering his time to help our small businesses 😊

Here’s what Tom’s mentees had to say:

Tom was a great mentor and helped me implement some changes to try and improve the results of my Google Ads campaigns. Thanks so much

“Tom’s input has been immensely helpful in shaping my user feedback project.”

Leadership mentor – Lisa

Lisa is the queen of leadership, so it’s a pleasure to be able to recognise her and her work this year! 

Lisa volunteers with us through our partners at NatWest and since she joined us in 2021, she’s been a total powerhouse.  She’s a regular Masterclass host, offers 1:1 mentoring to our community and even most recently joined us for our first in-person event as one of our expert speakers. 

Lisa is a finance lawyer, mentor, coach, entrepreneur and yoga teacher to name just a few of her amazing skills.  She strongly advocates for mindful leadership and brings her unique approach to holistic living into all areas of her mentoring.  We’re extremely lucky to have worked with her on so many projects and we look forward to many more in the future!

Here’s what Lisa’s mentees had to say: 

I am so very grateful for the session. Lisa is a very engaged, encouraging, and constructive mentor. Her clear, composed, organised thinking is reassuring and helps to define a path.  I would love to keep her updated!

Lisa clearly genuinely wants to help and that came across. She was very patient with me and explained things well and gave me excellent advice. I’m very appreciative.

Business strategy mentor – Veronique

Meet Veronique, one of the new volunteers in our community this year! Since she joined us, she’s been a huge advocate for Digital Boost which we’re enormously grateful for.  With experience as a VP and board member, Veronique is well-placed to guide our small businesses through every stage of their journey. 

She’s been a massive support to our community and has thrown herself into mentoring, going on to host her first Masterclass all about networking in November! And even joining us for our first in-person event to offer speed mentoring to our audience.  Our community absolutely love Veronique and the support she gives 😀

Here’s what Veronique’s mentees had to say:

Veronique was knowledgeable, giving and great at explaining ideas and processes. Thank you so much

A really informative and educational session but in a warm and friendly environment. Thank you.

Most enthusiastic mentor – Ceren

We’re excited to announce a new category for our awards this year, Most Enthusiastic Mentor of the year! We wanted to create this new category as we have so many incredible volunteers who are so passionate and excited about what they do with us which is so special to see 🥰

We couldn’t think of anyone better to receive this award than Ceren! She’s got the most infectious energy and brings such passion and enthusiasm to all her sessions.  She’s really pushed herself this year, signing up to host her first Masterclass with us which was a total success!  And she also joined us for our in-person event in November to offer speed mentoring to our community.

Ceren brings a wealth of knowledge to her mentoring sessions, having over 5 years under her belt in email marketing.  She’s one of our most specialised mentors and we’re grateful to have her supporting our mentees with their email marketing campaigns!

Here’s what Ceren’s mentees had to say: 

Ceren was lovely, very pleasant to talk to and she provided really thoughtful, customised and helpful feedback on our email marketing. She was supportive, shared feedback in a very positive manner and took the time to answer all the questions we had. We look forward to implementing everything she shared and booking a follow-up meeting with her in a month’s time. Thank you Ceren and Digital Boost!

Ceren was really helpful, she gave me great advice and ideas that were tailored to the type of business I run. Would highly recommend her, thank you!

SEO mentor- Alan

We’re delighted to be recognising the voluntary work of Alan from Hedgehog Digital this year! SEO is a topic we’ve seen rising in popularity this year, and with this being such a key area that SMEs need to upskill in, it’s fantastic to have experts like Alan volunteering their time to our community. 

Alan is the founder of Hedgehog Digital, a digital marketing agency based in Cornwall with hubs in Bedford and São Paulo. He specialises in supporting organisations to drive relevant traffic to their websites through search engines! 

Alan’s support has enabled many members of our community to understand SEO and how it can help their businesses to grow! His mentoring has been invaluable and we’re so grateful for his support this year. 

Here’s what Alan’s mentees had to say: 

“It’s immeasurably valuable to be able to speak to experts. I started with a very specific question, however soon realised that I had asked the wrong question… and what I needed to do was build strong foundations. Alan really understands the core principles of SEO and gave me a great push in the right direction. Thanks for help.

Alan provided such valuable and informative information. He was patient and professional. I learnt so much and got so many amazing ideas, my mind is buzzing now, in such a short time, it was incredible. Thank you so much for your time!

Money mentor – Kevin 

Understanding finance is a key area that many small businesses need to focus on, so we’re delighted to be able to recognise the support that Kevin has given to our SMEs this year! 

Kevin volunteers with us through our partners at NatWest and, given his extensive background as a chartered accountant, he’s fantastically placed to support our SMEs with all things finance. 

Kevin has a wonderful energy about him and he’s easy to talk to which puts so many of our mentees at easy 😀  Finance can often feel overwhelming for many business owners, but with experts like Kevin volunteering their time, it can feel that little bit less daunting. 

Here’s what Kevin’s mentees had to say: 

The session with Kevin was truly exceptional. As a highly effective and commercially astute Chartered Accountant, his expertise was evident throughout the discussion. His ability to analyze complex financial matters with clarity was impressive. Kevin provided valuable insights that deepened my understanding of the project at hand. His guidance and practical advice instilled a sense of confidence in me, equipping me with the necessary tools to navigate challenges successfully.

Sales mentor – Colin 

Nailing sales can be a real sticking point for SMEs, but with a business mentor like Colin, sales can start to feel a lot more manageable!

Colin joined us way back in 2021 through our partners at BT, and in that time he’s been able to support many small businesses and charities to thrive.  With an extensive commercial background and experience in multiple industries and sectors, Colin is well-placed to support our community with their sales.  His passion for supporting small businesses is infectious and we’ve loved seeing all the amazing feedback Colin has received from our community over the years!

Here’s what Colin’s mentees had to say: 

Colin is really helpful and gives new ideas and strategies in a professional, motivational way. I came away from the call with lots of exciting ideas!

Colin was well-prepared, curious, supportive and knowledgable. I felt immediate rapport and his suggestions were excellent

AI mentor – John

Although AI has been around for a while, 2023 was definitely the year of AI 🤖  We saw a huge spike in demand for mentoring in AI and machine learning.  We’re big believers in digitisation and being ahead of the curve, so we were delighted to be able to offer AI as a new mentoring category this year, as well as to host a number of Masterclasses about ChatGPT and other popular AI tools. 

John from JMAC Marketing has been a huge support to us this year in this field.  He’s shared his knowledge of machine learning and AI through 1:1 sessions and Masterclasses to help our community upskill.  John is a fantastic mentor and what we loved about his Masterclasses is the way he made AI accessible for everyone, no matter where they were in their journey.  

For many small business owners, AI is way outside their comfort zone and is something brand new to learn.  So it’s fantastic to have mentors like John helping our community to upskill and future-proof their businesses! 

Here’s what John’s mentees had to say:

John did a fantastic job. He was friendly, punctual, well-informed, and easy to get along with. It was a pleasure to talk to him about my business and future plans.

John seemed to understand the situation I am in, but he was not judgemental, but he was very supportive and interested in me, my business and helping me find a solution.

Sustainability – Anthony

If AI was the topic that defined 2023, Sustainability was the quiet grower that closely followed in its footsteps.  With so many of us focusing on how we can individually do our part to create a greater future, it was fantastic to see the small business world following suit 💚 

Sustainability was another mentoring topic that we introduced this year with subtopics in carbon reduction, green products and responsible business practices. 

It was great to see so many of our mentors adding these skills to their profiles, and it’s why we wanted to highlight Anthony from the Aviva team this year!

Since joining us, he’s been able to support our community across several topics, including sustainability and development.  With his extensive knowledge in the corporate tech world, he’s well placed to help small businesses navigate the move to greener processes and it’s been a delight to have his support with this. 

Here’s what Anthony’s mentees had to say: 

“I wanted to thank you for the mentoring session we had today. Your thoughts towards sustainability and guidance throughout the session were extremely helpful and greatly appreciated.

Longest serving mentor – Emilie

This is another new category that we’ve added because we want to recognise the amazing mentors who’ve been with us right from the very start. 

Emilie joined us way back when we started in 2020 – in fact, she was the 8th volunteer to join our community!  During her time with us, she’s been able to support some amazing businesses and we’re so grateful that she’s gone on this journey with us 😀 

What Emilie’s mentees had to say: 

My session with Emilie was fantastic. I found it really helpful in finding clarity with what I am about, where I am at, and the direction I want to head in. I found Emilie compassionate, wise and an amazing listener, instantly getting to the core of things and providing really clear support and guidance. Thank you!

All-rounder – Emma 

It’s difficult to pick just one person who’s shone this year, BUT Emma from Fresh Approach Digital has totally blown us away this year.  So we’re super excited to announce her as our all-around mentor of the year!  She’s been with us since we first started in 2020 and in that time, she’s supported multiple founders to nail their business and marketing strategies. 

Emma is the founder of Fresh Approach Digital, a digital marketing agency that helps businesses to get noticed on social media.  With more and more businesses needing to adapt to the ever-evolving digital landscape, experts like Emma are more important than ever to support our community through these changes 🙌

This year Emma was also able to join us at our first-ever in-person event as a guest speaker! It was a really lovely full-circle moment given that Emma has been with us since the very beginning 🤗  Her enthusiasm for seeing small businesses thrive is infectious and we feel very lucky to have her in our community.

What Emma’s mentees had to say:

“Hi Emma was very helpful. She boosted my confidence with enthusiasm and provided me with a technique to find my new business name. Emma also gave some feedback on the sponsorship strategy I applied for my main business. She didn’t have an answer for some specific questions but got in touch with other professionals to find a solution – very appreciated.”

Rising star – Henry 

So many incredible volunteers have joined our community this year and we’re very excited to announce Henry as our Rising Star of 2023! 

Henry began mentoring with us through the BT volunteering programme.  Henry is BT’s social media manager and brings a wealth of digital marketing experience to the community. 

Through BT’s volunteer programme, Henry was put forward to host a Digital Marketing Masterclass all about LinkedIn for our community. Leveraging social platforms like LinkedIn is really important for SMEs to grow, so we were delighted that Henry hosted this with us! 

With such a fantastic introduction to the community, it’s been amazing seeing Henry throw himself into the Digital Boost world. He joined us to offer speed mentoring at our in-person event in November and his mentees absolutely loved meeting him! Henry is already set to host more social media Masterclasses with us in 2024 and we’re very excited to see his star rise next year! ⭐

B2B sales – Max

Last, but definitely not least! Our B2B Sales mentor of the year is Max! Max joined our community earlier this year and since then has gone on to help numerous mentees to smash their B2B sales 💪

We’ve seen B2B sales mentoring requests rising in our community in the last 12 months so it’s been fantastic having the expertise of mentors like Max to guide our community on their journeys 🚀

Here’s what Max’s mentees had to say: 

Max really helped me in my question, seems that he is an experienced professional in e-commerce and know everything about sales and career in this path. Our call was really helpful and we have managed to create a list of actions for me to achieve my goal. Thanks Max!


We’re extremely fortunate to have such a wonderful community of volunteers, giving their time to founders and making a difference in the world. 

If you’ve ever volunteered with us, we just want to say a huge thank you – we appreciate you! 

If you’ve been inspired by our Mentors of the Year and fancy joining our community of volunteers – we’d love to have you onboard 🥳

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