Our flagship Mentoring Women in Business programme matches woman entrepreneur mentees in low and middle income countries with experienced, dedicated professional mentors in any country for a year-long, cross-border, online mentoring relationship to help her achieve her business goals and build her wealth, independence and security.

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Carefully matched with you to suit your needs, you could find yourself being mentored by a knowledgeable, friendly professional from anywhere in the world and any sector, from a director of a major global corporation to a fellow successful woman entrepreneur. Their support will help improve your business performance and skills, boost your confidence and potentially have a huge impact on your life, your family, your community and beyond.

Applications from potential mentees and mentors are now closed. Please sign up to our newsletter to find out when applications open again!

The benefits

By giving access to business knowledge, supporting new skills, confidence-building, and creating and developing networks, it 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 2020 graduating mentees, 100% were either satisfied or very satisfied with the programme, 96% told us they built skills in strategy, 88% in marketing, 89% in personnel management, 79% in product/service development and 67% in sales.

These women were also able to uncover personal qualities within themselves: 95% reported that the experience increased their confidence levels, 95% said they had improved their communication skills, and 95% said they became more innovative and able to challenge existing ways of thinking or acting.

We endeavour to match each mentee with a mentor who has experience in the areas she wants to focus on, whether that’s planning, marketing, communications, finance/accounting, strategy, sales, accessing capital, leadership, management, negotiation or any other areas related to business and professional development.

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Mentees went on to apply these skills to their businesses with fantastic results:

  • 88% kept their business from going under – especially important during the global pandemic
  • 88% increased their personal networks
  • 70% reported an increase of profits or sales
  • 79% created new products or services

This enjoyable, engaging process has many rich benefits for mentors too: 100% of our 2020 mentors said the programme benefitted their own personal and professional development.

In addition to the benefits of a mentoring relationship, participants who successfully complete the programme receive a certificate from Cherie Blair CBE QC, access to trainings and our online community, a title and more.

So, how does it happen?

Mentees and mentors are carefully matched to ensure the strongest, most mutually beneficial and impactful relationship, before embarking on a year of speaking and meeting online for about two hours a month, all through our bespoke online mentoring platform.

Using our platform, mentoring pairs conduct video calls, share direct messages, set, monitor and analyse their performance against their agreed goals, and easily track their individual learning progress throughout their programme journey.

The journey consists of four phases:

  • Phase 1: building rapport, with pairs spending time getting to know each other, establishing trust, discussing and agreeing on the ground rules for your relationship.
  • Phase 2: setting the direction of the mentoring relationship and setting goals. Pairs work together to clarify and set out SMART goals and objectives to achieve together, outlining an action plan and defining what success will look like for you.
  • Phase 3: working through your action plan. Checking in regularly with each other, pairs work on the short and long term objectives that you established together.
  • Phase 4: winding up your relationship as you come to the end of the programme. Pairs use your remaining time together to look back on what you’ve learned and achieved. You also plan for the end of the relationship, reviewing outstanding objectives and charting out next steps.

At the start of your relationship, we will invite you to participate in a welcome webinar, where you’ll be welcomed into the programme and receive important information about the upcoming year. Our team will guide you every step of the way, offering dedicated support to ensure that both mentees and mentors get the most out of their relationships and online platform. We’ll monitor progress and check in to see how each mentoring pair is doing every few months. Other than meeting with your mentoring partner regularly, the only requirement is to complete short feedback forms to reflect on your goals and tell us how we can best support you.

Requirements, commitments and expectations

Please take some time to review our application criteria. Mentees must be:

  • A woman from and living in a low or middle income country
  • Running their own business (meaning at least 51% ownership or decision-making authority) or about to launch their own business in the next three months
  • Proficient in English (at an intermediate level or above), both written and oral
  • Nominated by one of our local referral partners
  • Able to commit to the programme for twelve months
  • Able to access the internet and meet with their mentor online for a minimum of two hours a month
  • Able to complete several feedback questionnaires by the stated deadline
  • Willing to work with a mentor to build their business and personal development skills and confidence

Mentees are expected to…

  • Meet online with their mentor for two hours minimum per month, for a year
  • Be proactive in driving the mentoring relationship and setting its direction
  • Undergo two to three hours of pre-matching training
  • Complete interim and end-of-programme surveys
  • Develop and submit goals to be worked on with their mentor
  • Adhere to our Code of Conduct
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Mentees get…

  • A motivated, keen professional mentor, of any gender, with at least 7 years’ experience in business
  • Bespoke, one-to-one, structured support and guidance from a professional, to help develop your skills and expertise and work towards your business and personal development goals
  • A match that aligns with your professional skills and experience
  • Training to ensure a productive and collaborative experience
  • Proactive and engaged ongoing support from the Foundation team
  • Access to a suite of online resources to help you develop your professional skills
  • Access to a closed LinkedIn networking group
  • An incredible, lasting, life-changing experience

Application dates

We run three mentoring cohorts a year, starting in May, August & November, meaning our applications open three times a year. Applications for May cohorts open in March, for August cohorts open in June and for November cohorts they open in September.

Applications from potential mentees and mentors are now closed. 

Sign up to our e-newsletter to hear about future application dates.

How to apply

There are two ways to join the programme as a mentee:

  • As an affiliate of one of our mentee referral partners in your local country (strongly recommended) – find a partner here
  • As an independent mentee, if there are no organisations with whom you can be affiliated

If you meet the selection criteria above the next step is to complete the online application form, which takes around 20 minutes. Your application answers help us get to know you and find you a mentor who is a great fit with your interests, background, needs and goals. To ensure we can find your best mentor match, we strongly encourage you to take the time to add as much information about your business and professional aspirations as possible.

During our application window, we aim to process and respond to applications within 1 week. If you have any technical issues at all, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Please download and read the following before applying:

What happens next: starting your mentoring journey

If selected, you’ll first be invited to participate in a few hours of online training.

The training ensures you are able to start the programme with the knowledge and tools you need for a productive mentoring relationship. This not only builds a good foundation for starting the programme, but also helps you develop skills that you can transfer to your work and professional life.

If you pass the training test successfully, you may be invited to have a call with one of our team members. During this call, we check that you understand the programme requirements and your responsibilities, as well as confirming your level of English. This call, which will last up to 15 minutes, is a required step in the recruitment process.

A few weeks later, you’ll be carefully matched with your mentor. Our matching process involves taking information provided by mentees and mentors in their application forms and pulling the information through our platform’s algorithm. This algorithm identifies potential matches, prioritising creating pairs who share an alignment of topics and skills, but also practical elements like complimentary time zones. We find that matching based on the mentee’s needs and mentor’s expertise is preferable over matching by sector.

You’ll then find out who your mentor is and be introduced to them, gain access to the online mentoring platform, participate in the welcome webinar, and can begin your one-on-one mentoring relationship!

Our mentors and mentees receive an unparalleled learning and growth experience, a title from the Foundation, an opportunity to gain new professional contacts, access to training, a completion certificate and a personal relationship with their mentoring partner.  They have a lot of fun along the way and become part of a global, supportive community. We honour mentees and mentors who meet the requirements of the programme and make the most out of their relationships.

If you have any unanswered questions, please read our FAQs page or contact us.

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