Juan Betancur, head of business intelligence for Guy Carpenter in Colombia, joined the Mentoring Women in Business Programme to build upon his previous advising experiences. During his time as an undergraduate assistant professor at Universidad Externado, Juan often shared his personal and professional experiences with his students, becoming a mentor for students seeking career development advice. Describing these relationships as “enriching experiences for both [mentor and mentee],” Juan wanted to take his passion for mentoring to the next level by joining the Mentoring Women in Business Programme.
Based on his experience in mentorship, and his expertise in sales, marketing and business strategy, the foundation matched Juan with Tochi, the founder of a language school in Nigeria who was looking to grow her local academy into a nationwide business. Tochi’s Smarter Languages Academy aims to bridge the language gaps in her home country of Nigeria. From a young age, Tochi was fascinated with languages and communication and studied foreign languages at University. She decided to turn her passion into a business after realizing the importance of promoting multilingualism in Nigeria, a country home to more than 500 different local dialects.
Juan assisted Tochi in creating a comprehensive business plan, including developing a marketing strategy and launching a website. Initially, her language academy was directed at one on one tutoring with young students; however, Juan helped her expand to include a variety of different services and resources catered to adults and families after seeing the company’s potential for growth.
Juan and Tochi’s partnership worked well, he explains, because of their mutual understanding of how to “make the most out of our backgrounds, perspectives and skills,” and their shared effort to communicate in a beneficial, and mindful way. Juan urges other colleagues to always “have an open mind and positive attitude” when mentoring, attributing this mindset as the key to a successful partnership.
Since joining the program, Tochi’s business is flourishing, helping individuals nationwide become multilingual. Tochi’s work unites people divided by language barriers, empowering and strengthening her diverse community. Juan proudly believes that Tochi and her business have already had a “tremendous positive impact,” and is excited to see what she will accomplish in the future.