Most of us through our lifetime can point to an influential person (or maybe several people) who have helped shape who we are today. These mentors play a vital role in our development from behind the scenes, generously sharing their time, experiences, and insights to nurture our potential, keep us on track, and help us grow — often personally and professionally. With January being the mentoring month it is a great opportunity to celebrate the impact of mentorship on small business entrepreneurs.
Take the example of Karim, an entrepreneur from Guinea, and Brian, a mentor from the US, that connected on the MicroMentor platform, and have been mentoring since 2015:
In Guinea, many people don’t have access to their own toothbrush – let alone dental services.
“I have seen people who come to the dentist and leave without treatment because they can’t afford to pay,” says Karim, “There is lots of unemployment and sometimes even a salary isn’t enough to cover dental treatment.”
Karim set out to solve this problem by providing discounted dental services, supplies, and dental hygiene education through his nonprofit Dentistes du Sud but found it difficult to reach those most in need.
While considering opening up another location, Karim sought support through MicroMentor and connected with Brian, the founding COO of Build-a-Bear. With experience managing Build-a-Bear stores around the globe, Brian warned Karim of the dangers of overextending himself with a second location and suggested instead that he build a larger customer base through active outreach in his community.
Karim visited schools, churches, malls, and orphanages to hand out tickets for free exams. As of 2017, Karim still has one location but has tripled his customer base, doubled his revenue, hired three full-time employees, and improved the dental health of over 12,000 local community members.
While Karim’s story demonstrates the impact mentoring has had for his business in Guinea, we find that in general, entrepreneurs who receive mentoring on MicroMentor experience better business outcomes such as increased revenue, more jobs created, and better business survival rates. Check out the results of MicroMentor’s 2017 Business Outcomes Survey:
With such tremendous impact across the globe, there is so much in store for the entrepreneurs within the Caribbean. The Caribbean Climate Innovation Center recently launched its GreenTech Mentorship Program, which utilizes the MicroMentor platform to connect local and international mentors with green technology entrepreneurs.
Photo: CCIC and MicroMentor Team at CCIC Mentor Program Launch Photo Credit: Mint Creative
We want to take advantage of Mentoring Month to welcome the entrepreneurs and mentors who have been invited to take advantage of this unique opportunity! Remember, MicroMentor is easy to use and YOU drive the process.
For more information on CCIC Mentoring Program email email@example.com
MicroMentor is a free online mentoring program that connects entrepreneurs to experienced professionals who work together to solve business challenges. Mentors and entrepreneurs connect around the globe to grow businesses, create more jobs and contribute to their local communities.
Read the CCIC Blog for news about CCIC GreenTech Entrepreneurs our entrepreneurship community, as well as helpful tips, guides, and insights into the startup and investment world.
Emily Joy serves as the Senior Client Success and Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for MicroMentor, a social innovation of the global humanitarian organization, Mercy Corps. Emily has extensive experience in community economic development projects in the US and Latin America, working with youth, social entrepreneurs, small business owners, and mentors to grow small and medium-sized businesses and non-profits.
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