This event is an annual highlight in the YBI calendar bringing together entrepreneurs, mentors, experts and organisations from the YBI network and beyond to discuss best practices, experiences and innovations in the field of mentoring.
This year’s theme was “Mentoring in a pandemic”. While face-to-face interactions have always been a valuable part of the International Mentoring Days, going online this year also had its benefits. It opened the door for more international speakers and participants than ever before with a total of 150 attendees from 18 countries.
The Mentoring Days started with an opening address by Olesya Teterina, Deputy Director, Department for Investment Policy and Entrepreneurship Development of the RF Ministry of Economic Development. She stressed the importance of mentoring as a factor conducive to entrepreneurship. Joerg Schoolman (Head of Mentoring, YBI), Boris Tkachenko (CEO, Youth Business Russia & YBI Trustee) and Guillem Aries (Director, Autoocupacio) then kicked off day one by presenting achievements and learnings from YBI’s SOS Mentoring programme, a global initiative launched back in April to support young entrepreneurs through the COVID-19 crisis. Phase one of this programme was all about business survival whereas phase two, which will be launched in late January 2021, will focus on recovery.
Following this presentation, Boris Tkachenko led a session on mentoring during the pandemic with speakers from four countries, including Lakshmi Venkatesan (BYST, India), Byron Bharat (Youth Business Trinidad and Tobago), Therese Kaeck (NyföretagarCentrum, Sweden), Irina Gorelova (Mentoring Institute and Youth Business Russia) and Pavel Savchenko (ROSEL, Russia) as well as YBI’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2020, Amruta Mangale from India, and YBI’s Mentor Recognition Award 2020 winner, Reggie Ramlochan as well as finalist Bo Selerud. In the following discussion, moderated by Irina Gorelova, participants considered ways of launching and implementing workable mentoring initiatives, with experts sharing experiences and insights from YBI experience, particularly in Germany (Joerg Schoolman) and Russian regions - Krasnodar and Ugra (Kristina Silchenko and Victor Liberansky).
Day two offered a packed agenda of interactive sessions. To start the day, YBI’s Director of Membership Services and Engagement, Jo Gray, joined Dmitry Nekrasov, founder of the YOUNG online university, in facilitating a mentoring-style networking session to encourage potential partnerships among participants. The following speed mentoring session exposed participants to reverse mentoring practice. Working in pairs, they shared some of their pressing issues and exchanged useful feedback.
A highlight of this year’s International Days of Mentoring in Entrepreneurship was mentoring guru Professor Bob Garvey’s new masterclass on ‘Opportunities and Challenges Faced by Mentors and Mentees During a Pandemic’. Participants found it to be one of the most interesting and inspiring moments of the event. During the Q & A at the end of his session, Bob reinforced the importance of mentoring and encouraged mentors to continue with their vital work while also taking time to look after themselves. YBI mentoring consultant John Cull and Joerg Schoolman concluded the event by introducing innovative “pandemic period” mentoring tools through a mentor-mentee role play.
Participants will remember the International Days of Mentoring in Entrepreneurship 2020 for their energy, warm and supportive atmosphere, fascinating insights, exposure to international mentoring experts and practitioners, and stimulating conversation among like-minded people from around the world.
The 9th International Days of Mentoring in Entrepreneurship will take place during the week of 22nd November 2021.
Get a glimpse of last year’s International Days of Mentoring in Entrepreneurship here.
The 8th International Days of Mentoring in Entrepreneurship were supported by the Department of Investment Policy and Entrepreneurship Development of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, Impact Hub Moscow, and IBLF Russia.