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Questions & Answers

Posted by Tamara Gehring on 2015-11-23 17:25:00
Title: mentorship
Category: Leadership

I am looking to find a women entrepreneur mentor

Answer:

Lisa Niemetscheck
2015-11-25 12:52:00

A search to find a women entrepreneur to mentor you starts with a few basic questions:

1. Where do you live?

2. Do you own a business already, or are you planning on starting one?

3. What areas of your business do you feel you most need mentorship in – i.e. finance, sales, operations etc?

Depending on where you live there are a number of provincial/regional associations of that can help you find a mentor. In BC, there’s an online mentorship program tool called Mentorship BC (http://www.mentorshipbc.ca), and organizations such as the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (www.fwe.ca) in Vancouver welcomes Mentees from across Canada. National organizations such as Futurpreneur (www.futurpreneur.ca) offer mentorship, as does the Women’s Enterprise Initiative (http://www.wd.gc.ca/eng/256.asp), which has regional organizations in Alberta, BC, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Finding a Mentor through an organization can be very helpful, as there are clear expectations for the Mentor and Mentee, and guidelines to follow.

Working with a Mentor is different than working with a business coach, which is something to keep in mind. A business coach will typically work hands-on with you to address a problem or opportunity, and they are paid by you for this work. Mentors, however, offer more a blend of feedback and insight, ask you tough questions to help you think differently about your business, and may advise you, but they are normally not paid. Mentors are sought for their long-time or deep experience in business, and for their insight and reflections on your business. They help an entrepreneur ‘lift their gaze’ from working ‘in’ the weeds of the business, to working ‘on’ the business. For this reason, we also advise our Mentees to focus on the high-level strategic challenges/plans with their Mentor, rather than on the day-to-day issues that arise.

A Mentor can truly be the key to elevating your business. Good luck in finding a Mentor, and don’t hesitate to reach out to organizations; they’re here to help you!