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Mentoring in Business To Be or Not To Be

Over the next few posts I will be looking at the whole area of mentoring – and by way of introduction:

As I mention in this short video, my absence from this site has been mostly to do with busyness, busy initially immersing my self in further training and development (that’s the structural dynamics I refer to here) and then working on a project overseas for 3 weeks.

The focus for my work in recent months has been almost entirely focused on mentoring, and the mentoring of female tech founders who want to scale their businesses, and mentoring programmes which form the essential part of many incubator and accelerator programmes.

Last year, Forbes reported on research which found that 92% of small business owners attribute their success to the support of a mentor.  Yet, only 22% reported having a mentor.  It seems that most entrepreneurship programmes now build in a mentoring programme, but these programmes will vary in quality and successful outcomes depending on a number of factors:

  • the selection process for mentors – how are mentors recruited and what vetting process is in place?
  • the training given to mentors – even the most experienced mentors will need a period of ‘on-boarding’ to the programme as well as a reminder of the key skills required
  • the matching process – getting the undefinable ‘chemistry’ right so that you are confident that the relationship is going to be open, challenging and supportive for both mentor and mentee
  • clear standards of ethics and professionalism, signed off by both parties
  • review and evaluation procedures

Over the next few posts, I will look in more detail at each of these steps – if you are considering becoming a mentor, it can be the most satisfying experience you can have, but there is more to it than just turning up and telling stories of how you made a success of your business, or achieved success in your role as a senior manager!


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