Ashford Borough Council is working in conjunction with ibd Business Advice Group LTD to offer local independent businesses across East Kent the chance to take part in a free business mentoring programme. 

The mentoring programme will be launched in July and will offer independent retailers a unique chance to enhance and improve their business. Businesses are invited to attend a group workshop before having their own 1 to 1 tailored business session with mentors from ibd Group.    

The workshops will cover all aspects of businesses management, from looking at businesses planning to marketing strategies. Mentors will provide specific support for independent retailers by helping them to understand the importance of using the right technology, online content and social media within their business. Retailers will also develop a business model, as well as enhancing their marketing strategy and branding.

More than 30 independent stores across Ashford, Tenterden, Dover, Shepway and Canterbury have already signed up to the free businesses masterclass.

Sally Pepper from ibd Group said: 

We are retail advisers each with over 20 years’ experience. We’ve owned and run our own businesses and have extensive knowledge from working in independents, high street multiples and international giants.

“We are passionate about the regeneration of the high street and bring our experience, knowledge and support to independent retailers. We firmly believe they have a big role to play in whatever form our high streets take in the future.”

Retailers can register their interest by emailing  

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