Our Mentoring Women in Business programme matches women entrepreneurs from low and middle income countries with professional mentors of any gender elsewhere in the world.
The women entrepreneurs work one-on-one with a dedicated business Mentor for one year, meeting online for two hours a month to work on personal and business goals. Mentees go on to achieve outstanding results, from revising business plans and strategies to launching products, gaining confidence, building skills, improving financial systems, growing networks and more! The pairs become invested in each other’s successes and combine their talents to make inimitable strides together.
The Mentoring Programme also provides a tremendous personal and professional growth opportunities for Mentors, who bring to the programme a wealth of expertise in multiple business fields.
The Mentoring platform
The one-on-one mentoring relationship is at the heart of this programme, and these relationships are carried out entirely through our bespoke online Mentoring platform.
Our platform enables participants to forge bonds across borders, collaborating on projects, brainstorming solutions to challenges and celebrating achievements. Recently redeveloped in order to harness the role technology can play in building connections, the platform centres bespoke experiences for participants, ease of use and strong integration with busy professional lives.
Through the platform, participating pairs can set and track goals and tasks easily, schedule and hold Zoom meetings, communicate through instant messaging, upload files, create events, monitor progress, and stay in touch with the Foundation. The platform syncs with individual’s calendars, and participants can also communicate as part of groups, meaning their experience really integrates with busy personal and professional lives.
To ensure mentees and mentors get the most out of their time working together, the relationship is broken down into four key phases: getting to know each other, setting the direction and goals, working through the action plan and objectives, and reflection, conclusion and graduation.
Because everyone works differently, mentors and mentees decide together exactly when to meet and for how long, though it does need to be for at least two hours a month, through our platform.
More information can be found in our FAQs!
Mentoring is a supportive and inspirational relationship based on trust and mutual respect, and benefits accrue to both participants. Both Mentees and Mentors benefit from the mentoring relationship, as they build new skills, make new contacts, and forge a bond with someone in another part of the world.
The benefits also extend beyond individuals. The women we work with are pioneering change-makers, poised to become successful entrepreneurs and leaders in their communities. Women who are financially independent have greater control over their own lives and often a more influential voice in tackling injustice and discrimination.
The programme has a significant impact on our mentees, who…
- Increase their business profits or improved their communication skills
- Determine their own goals and work towards these with support
- Improve their self confidence
- Gain marketing and communication skills
- Gain skills in business planning and strategy experience
- Increase their personal networks
- Enhance their businesses, going on to be better placed to provide for their families
The programme also provides a great learning and growth opportunity for our mentors, which feeds back into and inspires their work at their own companies. Mentors…
- Contribute to a positive change in their mentee’s life
- Gain knowledge of a new culture, or enhance their cultural awareness
- Learn about doing business in a new sector or market
- Build their listening skills
- Became more aware of the challenges that women entrepreneurs in low to middle income countries face
We have a dedicated support team to assist the pairs. The team keeps in regular contact with participants throughout the year, helping build their abilities to engage in their mentoring relationships. This support includes helping pairs with the logistics of the relationship (i.e. connecting, finding times to meet), guidance on what their meetings would look like, outlining expectations at various points and helping pairs set ground rules.
Individuals can connect at any time with a Foundation team member through the Mentoring platform if need be, and the relationship is well-managed by the team to ensure mentor and mentee are guided and both have the most enriching experience.
In addition to the core one-to-one mentoring relationship, the programme offers mentees and mentors additional support through our wider network of current participants and alumni, and a range of online resources. Through our closed LinkedIn group, participants have the opportunity to network and connect with our vibrant online community of thousands of pioneering, ambitious entrepreneurs and professionals, Together, you can collaborate, share ideas, build networks and support one another.
I have officially completed the Mentoring Women in Business Programme @cbfwmentoring as a mentor to women entrepreneurs! Thank you to Cherie Blair and @CherieBlairFndn for the opportunity and support!— Christiana Imafidon (@TianaImafidon) June 9, 2020
There is phenomenal talent abound in the black community #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/DsUXNZyJJg
Every month, we host valuable webinars that offer business advice on a range of topics, led by experts from within our network. Past topics have included protecting your business against cybercrime, communicating with confidence, balancing life and work responsibilities, and business to business selling.
Since 2008, we’ve directly supported over 175,000 women to grow and strengthen their businesses, and in turn support their families and communities. Our ambitions are growing and through our 100,000 Women Campaign we’re now reaching tens of thousands of women entrepreneurs a year.
You can be part of this phenomenal movement by joining the Foundation as a corporate partner, professional mentor or one of our incredible woman entrepreneur mentees, or by making a transformational gift today.