Most people remember someone who helped them move forward in their career – whether it was a family friend, a teacher, or a manager that guided them in the right direction.
When it comes to small business, the impact of mentorship is clear: research from the UK and the US shows that 70 percent of small business owners who receive mentoring survive for five years or more. That’s double the success rate of businesses run by entrepreneurs who don’t have the support of mentors.
Mentors guide their mentees through tough challenges, helping them avoid pitfalls and stay focused on what’s important. It’s not just about teaching hard skills; entrepreneurs say it’s the moral support – the feeling that someone else “gets it” – that proves to be biggest benefit of mentorship.
Jérémie and Janelle Wookey of Wookey Films in Winnipeg describe their mentor as someone who has kept them on track. “He’s always a phone call or email away and has fully invested himself in our business,” Janelle shared. “The experience he brings has been instrumental to our continued success.”
Jérémie and Jannelle were matched with their mentor through Futurpreneur Canada, a national organization that helps entrepreneurs turn their ideas into viable and successful businesses through pre-launch coaching, online resources, financing and up to two years of mentorship from an experienced professional. With a database of over 2,800 volunteer mentors, Futurpreneur has built a strong entrepreneurial community and is dedicated to helping young business owners succeed.
Futurpreneur has several tools in place to help their mentors build strong relationships with their mentees, so mentors always go into a mentoring relationship feeling equipped and prepared. They start with a hand-matching process to make sure that the mentor possesses the right skills to support their entrepreneur. Once matched, both the mentee and mentor use a tool called Ment2B™, which helps them set goals and expectations before beginning their mentoring relationship. The organization also offers several free online resources to help mentors develop and grow their skillset.
While mentoring is a great way to give back to the business community, mentors also gain a lot from the relationship. Mentoring opens up opportunities to network with other business professionals and the next generation of business talent. Jeff Ryzner, Futurpreneur mentor and winner of the BDC Mentorship Award, called mentoring his “most rewarding personal experience” and noted that mentoring is often a reciprocal learning experience, with both mentor and mentee walking away with new skills.
Futurpreneur mentors play an integral role in the impact the organization makes in Canada and the success of Canadian entrepreneurs. In the last year, Futurpreneur helped launch 995 new businesses across the country, with each new business benefiting from a volunteer mentor. The organization is always looking for new mentors with good character and credibility to join the team and commit a few hours each month to a mentoring relationship.
To be a part of something bigger, and give back to the business community, learn more about the Futurpreneur mentoring program and register to become a mentor here.