The opportunity: Enabling your staff to help others develops them and your organisation

A company is only as good as its people. Our global, online, cross-border Mentoring Women in Business programme brings enormous, lasting benefits to mentees and mentors alike – and their companies.

The Coronavirus is having a profound impact on businesses and professionals across the globe. The need for both individuals and businesses to build resilience, adaptability and sustainability is now more vital than ever.

The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women’s Mentoring Women in Business programme offers companies and individuals the opportunity to do just that. We match partner companies’ staff with woman entrepreneurs in low and middle income countries for a year-long, cross-border, online mentoring relationship. This offers professionals the chance to play a pivotal role in the business growth and development of another person at a key stage of her business, and also gain valuable personal and professional skills, insight and development themselves.

“At Qualcomm, we believe that companies can help achieve gender equality by ensuring women have access to business opportunities.

As part of our work to achieve this we are proud to be a long-standing supporter of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women’s Mentoring Women in Business programme.

Together with the Foundation we use technology for good, and help break down the barriers to equality, progress and prosperity, which benefits us all.”

– Angela Baker, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Qualcomm

The Mentoring Women in Business programme takes place entirely online, so participants can join remotely from home to:

  • Place mentoring skills at the heart of leadership development
  • Ensure their teams continue to grow professionally during these difficult times
  • Encourage entrepreneurial thinking and skills
  • Develops knowledge and experience with different cultures and perspectives
  • Help women business owners in low and middle income countries solve their business challenges
  • Help women be financially independent – helping their families and communities
  • Help women build their confidence and self-esteem to be successful leaders and entrepreneurs
  • Help rebuild economies after COVID-19 and close the gender gap in entrepreneurship

Download our brochure for full info:

Mentoring Women in Business benefits everyone!

By giving access to business knowledge, skills, confidence, and networks, our Mentoring programme enables women entrepreneurs to increase the revenue and profits of their businesses, create jobs, and become pioneering leaders, change-makers and role models in their communities. Of our most recently-graduated mentees:

  • 70% reported an increase of profits or sales
  • 70% created new products or services
  • 95% were either satisfied, more than and very satisfied with the programme
  • 79% applied the skills they gained in their marketing strategy
  • 78% made concrete progress on their business plan

Our data shows that when women are economically empowered, everyone stands to benefit: it leads to reduced household poverty, increased bargaining power and life choices for women, reduced exploitation and violence, and an increase in children’s wellbeing. Research we recently published with Boston Consulting Group shows that closing the gender gap in entrepreneurship could boost global GDP by up to $5 trillion.

“Partnering with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women on the Mentoring Women in Business programme has enabled our colleagues to play an instrumental role in the forming and growth of a huge range of businesses.

We’re delighted with the exciting and engaging way it helps women entrepreneurs unlock their potential, while developing colleagues’ professional skills and awareness of new cultures, industries and markets. The benefits this brings to Marsh & McLennan is extremely valuable.”

– Charlotte Pretty, Social Impact Programme Manager, Asia Pacific and EMEA, Marsh & McLennan Companies

Taking part as a mentor provides an exceptional learning and growth opportunity for your team members, who bring to the programme a wealth of expertise in multiple sectors. Of our 2019 mentors:

  • 89% reported gaining new skills which fed back into and enhanced their work at their own companies
  • 100% said the programme benefitted their personal and professional development, including building leadership, business and communication skills, growing awareness of a new culture or market, and their management/teamwork abilities
  • 98% were satisfied, more than satisfied or very satisfied with their match

Take Nikunj, a Platform Engineering Manager at Mastercard, began his mentoring relationship with Poornima as she was about to launch a social enterprise. Nikunj supported Poornima in developing a vision, and helped her to analyse business cases, models and plans. Founded on trust and mutual respect, this relationship brought benefits to both participants. With Poornima’s social enterprise continuing to grow, Nikunj told us that he “really learned how to listen. When you’re not face to face, you don’t have those visual cues, so I had to listen much more closely to what Poornima was saying and trying to find the message underneath.” He now applies this in his work, where he tries to spend at least 50% of his time listening.

You can find other mentors’ and mentees’ stories here.

“There is nothing as fulfilling as being part of a personal development journey of another woman as they thrive to discover their potential and to be the best they can be in their chosen line of business. Participating as a Mentor on the Cherie Blair Foundation has made me grow as a person.”

– Ruth, former mentor

How does it work?

The programme is 12 months and we do two to three intakes each year. Partners are welcome to commit their staff to as many intakes as they like, and we ask that they fund their employees’ participation in the programme as mentors.

Your mentors will work one-on-one with a woman entrepreneur in a low or middle income country, meeting online for around two hours a month over one year to work on a personal and business development plan. They could find themselves working with a shoe designer from Argentina, a shop owner from Pakistan, a wine producer from South Africa, a travel agency owner from Kenya, or other ambitious women running their own enterprises. Their support will help boost her confidence, improve her business performance and skills, and potentially have a huge impact on her life, her family, community and beyond.

Join partners such as Bank of America, PayPal, Qualcomm, Marsh and McLennan Companies and Fossil in investing in their greatest assets – their staff – and contribute to global economic growth while you’re at it.

If you’re interested in finding out more about what it means to be a corporate or institutional Mentoring partner with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, get in touch with us today: partnerships@cherieblairfoundation.org

Any questions? Click here to download our Mentoring Partnerships FAQs!

“I am grateful for the opportunity given to me, and most sincerely I wish to say: I worked with an indefatigable, devoted mentor. She gave me the best in the last twelve months. She never missed a date with me. She devoted her time in giving me details and she supports my business development. My mentor is a wonderful woman. I will miss her great support, but anywhere I go, I will always have her in my mind. Bravo, my mentor. Bravo, my friend. I wish that Cherie Blair [Foundation for Women] will continue empowering entrepreneurs around the world.”

– Lizzy, former mentee

 

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