“Mentoring has developed me as a person… It’s a two-way success story of personal growth for the mentor while helping the mentee realise her dream.” Samridhi, former mentor from our Mentoring Women in Business Programme
It’s amazing to me how quickly time passes when you’re doing something you love. I’ve been at the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women for nearly six years now, and over that time we’ve connect thousands of women entrepreneurs with mentors around the world through our Mentoring Women in Business Programme. The time has come again to welcome more amazing mentors into this thriving community.
My team is on the lookout for experienced business professionals from a range of sectors. You must be ready to work one-on-one with an aspiring woman entrepreneur, empowering her to achieve her full business potential. All our mentees are based in developing and emerging economies, and we encourage mentors from all over the world to apply (men and women!).
You need only commit two hours of your time per month to connect with your mentee using online communication tools like Google Hangouts and Skype. While the formal mentoring relationship lasts one year, there’s every possibility it will evolve into a lasting friendship, as many pairs continue to work together for two or more years. Hajiri, who supported Tebogo from South Africa to refine her business model for a new dance academy, says her mentee has now “become part of my family”.
At the end of their first year, many mentors are eager to sign up again, which isn’t surprise considering the incredible rewards that come from mentoring. 96% of mentors who graduated from the programme last year said they benefitted from working with their mentees, enhancing their own skills in business, leadership, communications and more. It is a great way to learn about a new sector or business size, use your business skills and brain in a new way, gain motivation and build mentoring skills that you can use in your own work.
Beyond the practical and professional benefits of mentoring, you will also gain an insight into the barriers faced by women entrepreneurs in developing and emerging economies. You can take pride in sharing your expertise and supporting a pioneering woman entrepreneur as she takes her skills and business to the next level. It is truly a life-changing experience.
There are countless success stories, but I’d like to leave you with a blog written by mentee Cecilia, a fourth generation coffee producer from Costa Rica. Her mentor, Paul, supported her as she worked to give back to her community by developing a local recycling campaign. They were even able to meet in person when Paul decided to visit Costa Rica with his family!
Since the Mentoring Women in Business Programme launched in 2011, we’ve built a thriving community of over 5,000 mentees and mentors from more than 100 countries the world over. You can learn more about what it means to be a mentor and apply via our website. We can’t wait to hear from you!
Allison Kahn, Mentoring Programme Director