How to navigate the VC4A Mentorship Marketplace with ease

Follow these 7 key tips to get the best results on the VC4A mentorship marketplace and learn how to effectively leverage mentor guidance for your entrepreneurial success.

  1. Get to know the mentor request process
  2. Structure your initial mentor request like a pro
  3. Propose your first session via the mentor feed
  4. Prepare a meeting agenda
  5. Establish communication structures
  6. Use emails unless otherwise proposed by your mentor
  7. Use the VC4A mentorship agreement as a guide

The VC4A Mentorship Marketplace is trusted by hundreds of entrepreneurs in Africa and Latin America as the place to gain structured business advice.

By having access to VC4A mentors, founders are able to get a fresh perspective on topics, gain networking opportunities, build their confidence, skills and abilities and grow thriving businesses.

Get to know the mentor request process

To find and request a session from a mentor, ​​firstuse the search filters to streamline the different mentor profiles available on the mentorship marketplace. When you find a suitable mentor, you will need to write and submit your request for mentorship.

Your request will be moderated by the VC4A team and sent to the mentor where it awaits their approval.

Structure your initial mentor request like a pro

Once a mentor accepts your initial mentorship request, you can now post a description of your business need on the mentorship feed. Your “ask” needs to be simple, concise and specific to your current business situation. Be sure to include a thank you note in advance, at the end of your write up.

After your request is posted to the feed, it is recommended to wait at least two days before sending another update in the event that your mentor hasn’t reached out yet.

Propose your first session via the mentor feed

Once your mentorship request has been accepted by the mentor, it’s time to schedule your first session with your mentor. To ensure a smooth and productive experience, take the initiative to find a mutually convenient time for your meeting. We recommend using the mentorship feed to schedule the sessions, as this will not only track request-to-response times, but also allow for automatic reminders to be sent on your behalf.

To enhance your virtual meeting experience, consider using a reliable virtual meeting platform such as Google Meet, Zoom, or Teams.

Prepare a meeting agenda

It is important to effectively summarize the challenges facing your business and the specific goals you hope to achieve through your mentorship. You may start this by preparing a meeting agenda, sent along to your mentor with your meeting invitation.

In your agenda, ensure you clearly define the problems your business is facing, outline your specific mentorship goals and preview key discussion points around topics you want to cover.

Establish communication structures

Stay organized and on track towards your goals by having a clear understanding of how you and your mentor will work together and communicate with each other.

We recommend taking these steps; determine the frequency of your meetings, preferred communication channels, and the level of detail that you expect in the feedback and guidance provided by your mentor.

Use emails unless otherwise proposed by your mentor

Besides the formality and professionalism compared with other channels, emails are convenient for record-keeping, easy tracking and provides room to attach relevant documents while working with your mentor.

As you get more familiar working with your mentor, you may move to other instant messaging platforms depending on your mentor’s preference.

Use the VC4A mentorship agreement as a guide

When you have made a successful connection with a mentor, the VC4A mentorship agreement will be made available in a section of your dashboard. This agreement was created to help to establish clear expectations, promote open communication, and foster a more productive mentorship relationship both for you and your mentor. Having the agreement to regularly refer to, can help create a more productive and meaningful relationship, encouraging open and honest communication from the start.

Finally, being a mentee can be a valuable experience that can help you grow professionally and personally, riding on the shoulders of those who’ve been there before. By following these guidelines, we hope you can make the most of your mentorship opportunities on VC4A and build a strong, productive relationship. We encourage you to be prepared, open and respectful with your mentor and regularly reflect on your progress to ensure success.