Women Entrepreneurs in Lanark and North Leeds Mentorship Program Guide for Mentors

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1 Women Entrepreneurs in Lanark and North Leeds Mentorship Program Guide for Mentors PREFACE The WELL Program provides financing, training and mentoring to women interested in starting their own business, or who currently run their own business right now. A 10% rebate is issued to WELL program participants who pay back their loan on time, participate in five hours of training, participate in five hours or mentoring and complete a final report. The mentee is responsible for identifying a mentor. The mentoring rebate is the equivalent of a maximum of 5% of the loan amount. A mentor in the context of the WELL Program is defined as a person who is in business, has past experience in operating or managing a business, or is a professional (accountant or management consultant) who provides business advice. This person would not normally be a member of the women s immediate family such as a mother, step-mother, aunt, cousin, sister or legal guardian. This person agrees to meet with the mentee regularly and provide advice and a supportive ear. MENTORS CAN: - Work in a structured relationship with a mentee to improve that person s success. - Act as an experienced guide through the provision of guidance, advice and troubleshooting. - Expose the mentee to a variety of management styles to develop their leadership abilities. - Provide objective feedback on the mentees progress, while at the same time acting as someone whom the mentee can confide problems, frustrations, fears and triumphs. - Respect the mentee s goals and personality. - Provide learning plan advice to help the mentee achieve goals. MENTORS SHOULD: - Be willing to devote the time and energy required of the mentoring relationship. - Maintain regular contact throughout the relationship. - Help the mentee develop confidence. - Listen carefully. - Encourage the mentee to analyze their situation systematically. - Encourage the mentee to be honest and realistic about goals and ambitions. - Reassure the mentee they are not alone. - Find other people for the mentee to talk to as needed. - Provide constructive feedback. - Establish a comfortable environment for discussions. - Be tolerant, non-judgmental and accept personal differences.

2 MENTORS SHOULD NOT: - Tell the mentee what to do. - Talk to their others about the discussions without the permission of the mentee. - Sort out all of the mentees problems. - Discourage them. - Criticize them without being constructive. REWARDS AND BENEFITS OF BEING A MENTOR - The reward for mentors is helping another develop and succeed. - Helping to develop future leaders and have a sense of leaving a legacy. - Becoming energized and increasing your self worth by helping others. - Personal satisfaction. - The ability to enhance leadership skills. - Broadened perspective. MENTEE ROLE - Clearly identify what they are seeking from the mentoring relationship. - Share with the mentor their work/education experience and any challenges they may have. - Show progress throughout the relationship. - Be receptive to any constructive criticism/feedback provided by the mentor. MENTEES SHOULD - Be willing to devote the time and energy required of the mentoring relationship. - Respect the mentor s time and feedback - Maintain regular contact with their mentor. - Come prepared to all meetings with their mentor. - Be eager to learn and be open to new ideas. - Be willing to take risks. - Be able to integrate feedback and act on it. - Take initiative and demonstrate resourcefulness. MENTEES SHOULD NOT - Expect the mentor to solve all of their challenges. - Expect the mentor to do the work for them. - Expect the mentor to solve personal challenges.

3 BENEFITS OF BEING A MENTEE - Developing a new belief in your ability to move forward. - Enhancing current skills and learning new ones. - Increasing opportunities for exploring your own growth. - Enhanced networking and marketing yourself. - Being exposed to different decision-making and leadership styles. - Professional development. - Bridging the gap between classroom learning and real-world application. THE FIRST MEETING: In the first meeting a lot of information will likely be exchanged and the objectives of the relationship will be set. Some of the things to discuss are your own skills and abilities; your interpretation of the role you will play in the mentorship; defining the commitments of the relationship and talk about the mentees learning/career goals, skills and objectives. It is important to keep expectations throughout the relationship realistic. QUESTIONS TO REFLECT UPON BEFORE THE FIRST MEETING: Think about your achievements personal and professional? Think about things you have been unable to achieve? Think about what might have prevented you from accomplishing some or all of your objectives/goals? Think about what your achievements taught you about your values, interests, attitudes? Think about your abilities, skills and what you enjoy doing? Think about major obstacles and/or challenges you face every day? TERMS OF REFERENCE A Terms of Reference should be filled out jointly by the mentor and mentee participating in this program. This document is to be used as a guide for the relationship and will outline the objectives, meeting times, etc. so that direction is clear. It is recommended that the Terms of Reference be completed following the first meeting together. A sample copy of the Terms of Reference is included in Appendix A.

4 APPENDIX A Mentorship Program Terms of Reference The WELL Program provides financing, training and mentoring to women interested in starting their own business, or who currently run their own business right now. A 10% rebate is issued to WELL program participants who pay back their loan on time, participate in five hours of training, participate in five hours or mentoring and complete a final report. The mentee is responsible for identifying a mentor. A mentor in the context of the WELL Program shall be defined as a person who is in business, has past experience in operating or managing a business, or is a professional (accountant or management consultant) who provides business advice. This person would not normally be a member of the mentee s immediate family such as a mother, step-mother, aunt, cousin, sister or legal guardian. The mentoring rebate is the equivalent of a maximum of 5% of the loan amount. The following outlines the agreement for the mentor/mentee relationship between: and for the period of to. 1) We will meet together times per month. (The location and exact time can be specified as well at this point. It is important to note that the agreed upon terms for meeting should be respected and if a conflict should arise for either party, notification should be given at the earliest possible time. 2) The objectives of this mentor/mentee relationship are as follows: All objectives are to be brainstormed and put in this section in bullet form 3) The Mentor shall: (Describe in broad terms the types of help the mentor is prepared to offer, relating each one of the objectives)

5 4) The Mentee shall: (Describe in broad terms the types of help the mentor is prepared to offer, relating each one of the objectives) 6) The mentor/mentee agrees that discussions held are to be treated as confidential and information shall only be shared if prior consent has been given. 7) We agree that this relationship can end for any reason either party wants to discontinue the relationship. 8) We agree this document is to act as a guide for the mentor and mentee and will not be shared. Mentor Date Mentee Date REFERENCES: Statistics Canada, a Handbook for Mentors, July 2004 Learning Centre Plus, Benefits of Being a Mentor NIST Pilot Mentoring Program Documentation

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