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Creative Kernow

Creative Kernow

Creative Kernow, based at Krowji, is the umbrella organisation for the following nine projects. Together we support the production, promotion and distribution of work by creative practitioners in Cornwall because we believe in creativity’s transformative power and want more people to benefit from it.

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Specialist Mentoring

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When stepping into new territory, there is nothing more reassuring than the guidance of someone who has been there before.

The right mentor can help you to identify and bridge gaps, tighten up your knowledge, and assure you that you are taking the right path.

Please note: due to high demand, if you have been awarded a Mentoring Grant in Cultivator Phase 1, there is a waiting time of two years since the date of the award (as stated on your award letter) before you can apply again.

Taking the impact of Covid-19 into consideration, we have made the decision to waive the 10% match required for Mentoring grants in the whole of 2020 – both grants will now be 100%.

Any questions? Read the FAQ...

What is the Mentoring Grant for?

Whether you’re just starting out or have been running your business for years, the guidance of a mentor can be instrumental to your progression. Our mentoring scheme is designed to make these valuable relationships possible by paying the costs of your mentor’s time.

We see mentoring as an in-depth relationship between you and someone else who works in the same field. The relationship can last anywhere between a few weeks and a year. You may have regular contact with your mentor over a short period of time or less frequent contact over a longer relationship. We adopt a flexible approach to this, recognising that no two relationships will have the same objectives.

Who can be a mentor?

One of the best things about our mentoring scheme is that your mentor can be anyone you have identified to be suitable. In Cultivator phase 1, most mentors were either suggested by Cultivator clients or by their Cultivator Creative Business Advisor. It is your decision whether a mentor is right for you, and it is important to consult with your Creative Business Advisor on the suitability of a mentor.

We believe that as well as being great at what they do, a mentor also needs to be generous, empathetic and nurturing. Preferably, they need to have some previous experience of mentoring – formally or informally.

How do I apply for a Mentoring Grant?

You must go through a sign-up process and become a Cultivator client before you can access schemes such as the Mentoring Grant. You can then discuss applying to the scheme with your Creative Business Advisor. If your advisor agrees to support your application, they’ll help you identify a suitable mentor and make your application as strong as possible.

You will need to have identified a suitable mentor before making the application. Your mentor will need to be involved in putting together your mentoring plan which is an important part of your process.

What is my chance of success?

Applying to this scheme is a competitive process. Even if you are eligible and your advisor has given you their support, there’s no guarantee of success. However, working closely with both your proposed mentor and your Cultivator advisor on your application will strengthen your case.

Can anyone apply for a Mentoring Grant?

Although the Mentoring Grant is open to all our clients, the availability is very limited. It is important to speak to your Creative Business Advisor to discuss if it’s the most suitable way forward for you and if it is the right time.

If you have successfully applied for a mentor during the first phase of Cultivator then you will not be able to apply to this scheme until two years after the date on your original award letter.

What’s the maximum amount I can apply for?

The highest financial value of a Mentoring Grant is £2,000, but your advisor might suggest that you apply for a lower amount if they deem that suitable.

Cultivator can pay up to 90% of the total cost of mentoring. For example, if your mentor was charging £1200, then Cultivator could pay up to £1080 towards this.

How much should a mentor charge?

We are flexible on this, because we understand that fees vary. If your mentor charges a higher rate, that means you will have less time with them based on our maximum award.

We cannot pay for the mentor’s travel expenses, so they will need to take that into consideration when giving you their rate per hour or per session.

How often are Mentoring Grant application rounds?

There will be a chance to apply to the Mentoring scheme around every two to three months. The deadlines are subject to change and review.

If I am awarded the grant, how do I claim the funds?

If you are successful in applying to this scheme, you and your mentor will be asked to keep a mentoring log – you can do this yourselves or use our template. Your mentor will need to invoice us directly for their fee and attached the mentoring log signed by both you and them. When they invoice for the final payment, we will also need to have received brief evaluations from them and you.

Can I apply for more than one Mentoring Grant?

If you are successful in your application, then you will not be able to apply again. However, in exceptional circumstances, we have supported application for two mentors – with the total cost up to £2000. This would mean that you will be spending less time with each of the mentor, and it is advised that you speak to your Cultivator Advisor before making the application.

If you have successfully applied for a mentor during the first phase of Cultivator then you will not be able to apply to this scheme until two years after the date on your original award letter.

What if something goes wrong with the mentoring relationship?

We expect both you and your mentor are fully committed to the mentoring relationship when making the application, but we understand that sometimes things can change. The first step is to contact your Creative Business Advisor and see if they can help you reach a resolution.

However, if the relationship is breaking down and you’d like to end the relationship, you will need to contact your advisor in writing, outlining the reasons, and also supplying your up-to-date mentoring log. Your mentor should send in their final invoice for the work they have done. Depending on how much of the award is unclaimed at that time, you may propose to continue with a different mentor, and your Cultivator Advisor will support you in that process.