On International Mentoring Day we are reflecting on YBI’s history of supporting mentoring for young entrepreneurs and celebrating volunteer mentors and mentees across our global network. Our commitment to mentoring is rooted in our belief that it can be a transformational tool in changing the lives and businesses of young entrepreneurs for the better.
The evidence of the positive impact mentoring has on young entrepreneurs and business outcomes is well documented. YBI’s member in Spain, Youth Business Spain, conducted research on this in partnership with PwC. A key finding was:
“The businesses that have taken part in the mentoring programme have more than doubled the probability of continuing in business compared with the average for the Spanish economy in general, with a business survival rate of 87% in the fifth year against a national average of 41%.”
For over 15 years we have worked with our members to develop and refine a sector leading approach to managing quality mentoring programmes. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we saw that mentoring was more crucial than ever in supporting young entrepreneurs through a period of fast-paced change and critical decision making. Through our SOS mentoring initiative, we enhanced established mentoring programmes in our global network with new skills for mentors, ensuring the quality and reach of support to young entrepreneurs during the pandemic.
In 2023, we launched a new offer to support our community of mentoring practitioners to take their programmes to the next level. Anchored in YBI’s Mentoring Standards and our 10-step process to managing a mentoring programme, the YBI Mentoring Programme Managers’ series consisted of four content packed webinars and four bespoke coaching sessions, designed and facilitated by YBI Mentoring Consultants John Cull, Boris Tkachenko and Ana Gessaghi.
The series included a unique self-assessment tool, enabling Mentoring Programme Managers to review their mentoring programme and identify strengths and areas for development. With supporting resources, including a mentor/mentee guide and a comprehensive Mentoring Programme Managers’ Manual, series participants developed their own action plans to enhance their mentoring programmes. One participant said:
“I feel I rediscovered my mentoring programme with a new eye, more focused than ever on what I need to implement to engage with our mentor community.”
With an average session satisfaction score of 95%, and participants reporting improvements across the board in their mentoring programmes (particularly in training and motivation), it is clear that there is appetite for YBI to continue supporting our members in mentoring best practice in 2024. We will be launching our next mentoring offer in March 2024, with content shaped by our members.
We thank our global network of members and volunteer mentors for their inspiring commitment and belief in the power of mentoring, which makes such a difference to the lives and businesses of so many young entrepreneurs around the world.