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Mentoring experts gathered in Moscow for the International Entrepreneurship Mentoring Days

It’s been quite a year for mentoring in the Youth Business International (YBI) network.

In July, YBI and Youth Business Spain (YBS) launched their mentoring research exploring the impact of voluntary business mentoring on young entrepreneurs. The global research noted the accelerator effect that mentoring played on businesses and the YBS four-year research study found that having a mentor doubled the probability of business survival compared with the national average in Spain.

Our member in Sweden, NyföretagarCentrum hosted their annual Mentor 2018 event, and the YBI network were invited to speak at two international conferences on mentoring – UNM’s 11th annual mentoring conference on Mentoring, Coaching and Leadership for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the USA and the European Mentoring and Coaching Council’s first International Conference on mentoring, held in Barcelona. Both events enabled the YBI network to share expertise and learning on their successful approach to mentoring in youth entrepreneurship.

As we come to the end of 2018, this incredible focus on the power of mentoring culminated in the 6th Annual Youth Business Russia (YBR) - YBI International Entrepreneurship Mentoring Days held on 22-23 November in Moscow, Russia.

The event brought together entrepreneurs, mentors, leading experts and key players with an interest in mentoring from across Russia and beyond to share learning and promote effective practice in the field. Throughout the two days, the agenda featured a jam-packed programme including several mentoring training skills workshops aimed at mentoring practitioners.

The event was officially opened by Boris Tkachenko, CEO of YBR and the Mentoring Institute and Natalia Kravchenko who heads up the project for the development of the mentoring movement at the Agency of Strategic initiatives (ASI). ASI, kindly hosted the event the Boiling Point centre in Moscow, which is now seen in many regions across Russia as a co-working hub and a space for events for the creative industries.

This year the focus was YBI’s mentoring research exploring the “Impact of Voluntary Business Mentoring on Young Entrepreneurs”. Jo Gray, YBI’s Head of Mentoring shared the key findings of this flagship global study while Boris Tkachenko focused on the specific country-level results within YBR’s programme as one of the case study research members.

Image courtesy of Youth Business Russia Image courtesy of Youth Business Russia Image courtesy of Youth Business Russia Image courtesy of Youth Business Russia Image courtesy of Youth Business Russia Image courtesy of Youth Business Russia

Attendees were able to hear from key individuals and organisations supporting mentoring in Russia including Victor Sedov, President of the Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE), Sofia Azizyan, Partner in EY Russia and Anna Palagina, the MIMOP Rector at the Russian Chamber of Commerce. Participants were also surprised to have an unexpected guest, Alexey Komissarov, a famous figure in the entrepreneurial scene. Alexey, well-known  for running a series of incubators and for his work with the government shared his thoughts on how mentoring helped him in his journey.

Liana Sargsyan, Programme Director, Youth Business Armenia who also attended the event, said:

“Having plans of establishing a Mentoring Programme in Armenia within the Youth Business Armenia project, we attended the 6th Annual International Entrepreneurship Mentoring Days to see and learn from the experience of colleagues who have been successfully implemented it in Russia.

This two-day event was very enlightening as learning from a pair of mentor and mentee about the great impact of mentoring has in a global and local setting gave us more confidence to move forward boldly to pursue our plans for the young entrepreneurs in Armenia".

There was lots of positive feedback from those wishing to work more with the expert team following the many discussions and Q&A sessions hosted by Boris Tkachenko, Irina Gorelova and Viktor Liberansky who were representing the YBR/Mentoring Institute team and great learning shared about how effective developmental mentoring works.

“Initially I was driven by the curiosity to learn about international mentorship practice”, added Lyudmila Tsoy, Alumni Relations Manager, ITMO University. “Since I was informally involved in mentoring and personal tutoring before, it was interesting for me to see whether and how it may fit in a Russian context. I am convinced that mentoring is a very efficient way to grow and develop ourselves, especially for young people and it was a pure joy to meet colleagues at this event”

The event closed with a screening of a video created by YBI member in Spain, Youth Business Spain, which does a fantastic job at capturing the essence of why and how mentoring works.

Throughout the two days, attendees were able to witness the effectiveness and importance of the mentoring model that YBR and the Mentoring Institute embraced and then developed over the past 10 years with the support of YBI. It really was a great demonstration of the how and why mentoring works in supporting young entrepreneurs.

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