The pandemic has hit young entrepreneurs with small businesses particularly hard. Most are struggling to stay afloat, many have had to close their businesses and are unable to predict when they will reopen. Young entrepreneurs are resilient and resourceful, however, in the current challenging times they need support to harness these skills.
Mentoring has never been more important. As Joerg Schoolman, YBI’s Head of Mentoring, explains:
“Key priorities for young entrepreneurs are getting the support they need, developing alternative business models and managing their finances. However, a broader challenge is how to make a range of decisions quickly and effectively in the midst of such stress and uncertainty. It can be incredibly overwhelming. Young entrepreneurs are looking for someone who can listen to their concerns and provide expert guidance.”
Mentoring is central to the holistic package of support that YBI’s global network provides to young entrepreneurs. Over the past 10 years we have established mentoring programmes in over 40 countries and, with our members, built a network of over 14,000 mentors providing one-to-one, personalised support. We know that a good mentoring relationship can be the difference between business success and failure – even more so during a crisis.
SOS Mentoring will leverage YBI’s expertise and global network aiming to provide 30,000 young entrepreneurs with quality mentoring support. 15,000 mentors will be equipped with the information, knowledge and skills needed to most effectively support young entrepreneurs through the current crisis. These mentors will be carefully matched with young mentees and provide support for a minimum of three months. Mentors will be supported to connect and exchange learning with each other – enabling them to draw on good practice from around the world.
Given the scale of the challenge we face, 30,000 small businesses can only be our starting point. There is high demand for the critical support that SOS Mentoring can provide. At YBI we are committed to expanding the programme and actively looking for partners to help us to do this. If you are interested in joining our global initiative to ensure young entrepreneurs and their businesses survive the current crisis, please get in touch.
Read more about the different initiatives we have launched to support entrepreneurs during the COVID-19 crisis.