Ex-pro footballer launches mentoring business

Categories: Salford Business School

An ex-professional footballer and University of Salford graduate has launched a business to mentor those across the sports industry and beyond.

The company, LeadGrowPro, was founded by Mark Roberts, an ex-pro player with 15 years of playing experience for a variety of clubs, and a passion for mentoring which he has developed in his current roles for the League Football Education and Switch The Play Foundation.

Mark, an MBA graduate from the University of Salford Business School has launched a business that coaches individuals and teams to bring out the best in themselves.  Aiming to guide those with their current challenges, LeadGrowPro offers a variety of masterclasses, workshops and one-to-one coaching that focuses on leadership development, personal growth and acquiring a professional mindset.

Mark said: “I use lessons that I’ve learned through sport in my classes and mentoring, drawing on my own experience and referring to successful managers like Sir Alex Ferguson and Bill Walsh.

“I find people can relate easily to sporting content which I think helps them grasp the lessons that I share by using those sporting examples. Sport can be a very powerful metaphor for life.”

Dealing with topics such as leadership, resilience and transition, LeadGrowPro offers tools and strategies for individuals to take on board and make use of.

“I don’t like the approach of giving people all their answers,” Mark shared. “I was spoken at a lot in my football career, and although that advice and guidance was important, I feel sustainable change is always best when your supported in such a way that you discover your own solutions.

“That’s why, the support I offer is to help people find the best in themselves so that they are able to achieve this in both their jobs and their daily lives.”

To help launch his business, Mark worked with the university’s business incubator, Launch@ Salford. Launch was set up in 2018 with the idea of aiding students and alumni in developing their own business. As part of a six-month support programme, users get access to a plethora of support from the team, including training, guidance, office space and financial aid.

“Working with Launch has been brilliant,” Mark said. “The whole team really helped me to clarify my ideas and understand what it is I want from the business I’ve created.

“I always like to surround myself with positive people who want to push themselves to improve so being on the sessions with different entrepreneurs certainly sparked ideas for my own business. And that’s exactly what I wanted to get from Launch – the opportunity to ask questions and someone to bounce my ideas off too.”

Justyna Turner, Incubation Manager at Launch, said: “Mark has been very dedicated to moving his business forward and we are privileged to help him set up LeadGrowPro, where he can help others find their new career paths.

“He is very driven and has so much to offer as a coach and mentor, and I’m sure it will be a success.”

Grateful to the university for his MBA and the extra support given, Mark is excited for this next step in his professional career.

He said: “I’ve experienced all those great moments in sport with my family, but this MBA and what I’ve been through… to not have a graduation last year was a bit of an anti-climax, so I’m willing to wait however long it takes. I’m not in a rush. Sharing it with them is something that’s very important to me.”

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