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.

Since 2010, the programme has supported nearly 10,000 women in more than 100 countries.

We work in partnership with corporates who nominate exceptional staff members, of any gender, to serve as mentors. We match partner companies’ staff with woman entrepreneurs in low and middle income countries for a cross-border, entirely 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. As mentors, they are able to:

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  • 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
  • Develop knowledge and experience with different cultures and perspectives
  • Work with women business owners in low and middle income countries to solve their business challenges
  • Empower women to be financially independent and support their families and communities
  • Support women to 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

Mentoring Women in Business benefits everyone!

Our Mentoring programme enables women entrepreneurs to increase the sustainability of  their businesses,  helping to create jobs in their communities, and become pioneering leaders, role models and even mentors themselves! Both mentees and mentors benefit from the relationship, as they build new skills, make new contacts, and forge a bond with someone in another part of the world. Women entrepreneurs develop their business and personal skills, and are able to launch, sustain or grow their businesses and in turn, improve their lives of their families and communities. We also facilitate networks for the mentees through an active online community of over 1,000 mentors and mentees from across the globe who are committed to empowering women entrepreneurs and invested in each other’s success.

It’s very good at it, too: of our 2020 graduating mentees, 100% were either satisfied or very satisfied with the programme, 96% built skills in strategy, 95% reported increased confidence levels and 95% said they became more innovative and able to challenge existing ways of thinking or acting. And the impact doesn’t stop there: in 2020, mentors on our programme supported women entrepreneurs around the world to create 1,395 jobs in their businesses.

As mentors, your team 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. You can read stories and case studies of some of mentoring relationships here.

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.

Taking part as a mentor also provides an exceptional learning and growth opportunity for your team members, who bring to the programme a wealth of expertise in multiple sectors while developing their own incredibly valuable personal and professional skills. Of our 2020 mentors, 100% reported gaining new skills which fed back into and enhanced their work at their own companies. Listen to our Mentoring team’s Jetske van Dijk chatting to mentor Tim Allitt, Issuance Product Manager at PayPal, above for a good overview of Tim’s experiences of the programme, why it’s such a valuable opportunity for mentors and their companies, and how a mentoring relationship might play out!

How does it work?

The programme is normally 12 months long, and we run two cohorts a year, starting in May and November. We look to confirm May cohort partners by January and November cohort partners by June. We ask that partners fund their employees’ “matches”—their own participation in the programme as mentors, as well as the mentees’ participation—and partners are welcome to commit as many staff to as many intakes as they like.

Once you’ve partnered, we’ll work with you on an internal recruiting process to encourage your team members to become mentors. They then apply and we accept those who meet our selection criteria, who go on to receive short mentoring training and finally are carefully matched with a suitable mentee before the well-managed, one-on-one relationship begins! Full information on the entire process for mentors can be found here.

Find all the information you need in our brochure and FAQs:

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We know that every company we partner with is different. We’re committed to working with you to find the best way to connect your staff with a virtual volunteering opportunity like no other!

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

Get in touch to discuss a partnership with Cherie Blair Foundation for Women by emailing us at partnerships@cherieblairfoundation.org

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