Kelly Hoppen launches online mentoring site for SMEs » SMEInsider

Kelly Hoppen launches online mentoring site for SMEs

Dragons’ Den star Kelly Hoppen today joined the government’s entrepreneur-in-residence Simon Devonshire to kick off Btube Network, a new video-based business resource for startups.

The project, which will initially run through YouTube to broaden its reach, aims to provide long term, in depth advice to help SMEs take the “baby steps” they need to grow, says Hoppen.

While entrepreneurs must “believe in their idea 100%” this can sometimes tip into unrealistic expectations of how fast they can expand, she explains.

A lot of people want instant fame and recognition,” says the self-made millionaire, hinting that she has become jaded with the “entertainment” aspect of the Dragons’ Den format and the instant success that it seems to promise viewers.

Instead, Btube Network will look look to give SMEs the tools they need to carve out their niche in a business landscape that is constantly adapting to disruptive technologies, to help them learn to trust their instincts, and to know when you ask for help and when to recognise that a business idea isn’t working at all.

“You need to be educated in your gut feeling,” added Peter Cowley, CEO of Spirit Digital Media.

Despite her disappointment in some startups she has invested in, which she says were happy to take the money while underestimating the value of the advice on offer, Hoppen is adamant that proper guidance from those that have successfully grown their own companies  is the best way for a startups to achieve their goals.

The biggest thing is to have a mentor,” she says. “I can’t step outside without people pitching an idea to me… but because I’m so passionate about it, I’m always trying to help and give advice!




  • Jane

    Where can more information be found on this government initiative?

  • What i don’t understand is why the Start Up Loans Company helped to promote this? Btube is/was financed by Direct Line. A BIG company. Not a start up. And as if there isn’t enough information already on the web for starting up a business. Just more rubbish pretending to help normal people into business. The truth is, unless you are already rich or know someone who is (and who will back you), you have hardly no hope at all. Period!