Become a mentee referral partner

Collaborate with us to support women entrepreneurs in your networks through the power of mentoring.

Become a mentee referral partner

Our gold-accredited Mentoring Women in Business programme connects women entrepreneurs in any low or middle income country with dedicated professional mentors elsewhere in the world. Mentors support them to develop professionally, overcome obstacles and build their businesses.

To connect with these women and engage them as mentees, we partner with over 50 non-profit or social enterprise organisations that work directly with women entrepreneurs across Africa, Asia, the Americas and the Middle East. These mentee referral partners refer ambitious women from their networks to join our programme.

Being mentored by Sriram has been the best thing that has happened to me. After our relationship, I set out with higher energy ready to execute more sales strategies and utilise all the recommended advise from my mentor. I was able to get new clients.

Rahmat Lasisi, owner of Dexterity Logics and alumna mentee, Nigeria

Professional mentoring offers a powerful route for women to receive critical one-to-one support and information, build confidence and skills, and ultimately achieve business success.

Click here to read all about how our Mentoring Women in Business programme works.

Of our most recently graduated mentees...

99% gained business skills

98% progressed towards their own objectives

93% improved one or more business outcomes (revenue, profit, employees, customers, savings)

What our programme offers partners

  • Fostering women’s skills, growth and empowerment: Our programme supports women entrepreneurs in our partners’ networks to gain crucial business skills, knowledge and guidance, overcome challenges, start and grow businesses, and achieve their ambitions.
  • Boosting communities and economies: When women succeed in business, they are able to become strong leaders, innovate new ideas, solve social issues, create jobs and contribute to economic growth.
  • Bringing an international element to your work: Our programme has cross-border collaboration and knowledge-sharing at its heart, with private, public and charitable sector partners worldwide coming together to support women through mentoring.
  • Creating global impact and equality: Mentoring is a key element of our mission to close the global gender gap in entrepreneurship. Our partners not only support individual women but catalyse broader change by advancing gender equality on a global scale.

We were attracted to work with the Foundation as a great opportunity to provide alternative support in entrepreneurial leadership. This has helped us diversify our economic empowerment agenda for minority women.

How it works

Our Mentoring programme runs twice a year, starting in May and November, with each cohort of mentees and mentors taking part for 12 months.

We look to confirm May cohort partners by January and November cohort partners by June. We would ideally work with you to recruit mentees for each twice-yearly intake.

Once you’ve partnered, we’ll support you to recruit women in your networks to be mentees. Recruiting participants for May’s cohort starts each March, and November’s each September – that’s when we will need you to promote the opportunity to them.

Mentees who meet our criteria apply and, if successful, are matched with their ideal mentor. Each mentee-mentor pair meets through our purpose-built online platform for two hours a month. Together, across well-structured stages and supported by our team and additional resources, they problem-solve, skill-share and work on the mentee’s personal and business development plan.

Finally, after 12 months, they graduate and the cycle begins again.

Graphic showing the partnership process

Partner criteria

Interested in connecting the women entrepreneurs you support with our Mentoring programme? Here are some guidelines on what we’re looking for in a partner:

  • Non-profit organisation, social enterprise or public sector organisation that has been in operation for at least one year
  • Strong track record of working directly with women entrepreneurs
  • Running other programmes or initiatives to support women entrepreneurs, such as accelerators or incubators, training, workshops, networking and professional development schemes, to which our Mentoring programme would serve as an add-on
  • Commitment to promoting the opportunity to women who fit the mentee criteria, without regard to other factors including (but not limited to) sexual orientation, marital or civil union status, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, colour, ethnic or national origin, disability, age, pregnancy, maternity leave or trade union membership
  • Commitment to hitting agreed targets by following up with nominees throughout the recruitment process to ensure application forms and online training are completed
  • Adherence to our partnership guidelines and code of conduct

Download our brochure to read more about the criteria for mentees, who our mentors are and how the process works…

Mentee Referral Partnerships brochure

Download (PDF) (1.8MB pdf)


How to apply

If your organisation fits our requirements, please fill in our mentee referral partner application form below.

Please try to apply by June if you’re interested in starting with a November cohort and by January if you’re interested in starting with a May cohort.

We review partner applications at these points and will be in touch with you then if we’d like to take the conversation forward.

Mentee referral partner application form

Application form for organisations interested in becoming mentee referral partners on our Mentoring Women in Business programme.

What is the legal status of your organisation(Required)

Do you offer any programmes/assistance to support women entrepreneurs gain access to capital (loans, grants, etc)?(Required)
We require mentees to have at least an intermediate level of English, so that they are able to comfortably converse with their mentor and build a beneficial relationship. Do the women entrepreneurs you work with have at least an intermediate level of English?(Required)
Do the women entrepreneurs you work with have consistent access to the internet (at least twice a week)?(Required)
Do you have a space where your nominees could access the internet and conduct meetings with their mentors, if needed?(Required)
Where did you hear about the Mentoring Women in Business programme?(Required)

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.