How does it work?
There are many promising entrepreneurs building companies with great potential. Sure they can make it on their own, but why not come together and help them along their way?
The objective of the mentorship program is to assist promising entrepreneurs build great companies. We do this by matching seasoned mentors with promising entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs make a request
Entrepreneurs that have registered a venture with VC4Africa have the ability to submit a request for mentoring support. These requests are screened by the VC4Africa team before being posted to the mentor marketplace. We want entrepreneurs to be beyond the ‘idea phase’ and already have a good (draft) business plan covering most aspects of the start-up. The mentor request should be clearly explained and actionable.
Define the coaching need
Once a request is posted to the Mentor Marketplace it is up to one of the VC4A mentors to step forward and register an expression of interest. The entrepreneur will be notified there is a mentor available and either accept or decline the expression of interest. Once a connection is made, it is important for the entrepreneur and mentor to define the coaching need.
Agree on a process
For the coaching process itself, we recommend the entrepreneur and mentor agree on a time period (for example 2 weeks, or 6 weeks or etc) and agree to the preferred communication tools (via mail, via Skype). It is also helpful to agree up front on what the objective is e.g. finish a business plan, a final version of a contract, a clear road map of next steps, etc… The time period will depend on the specific situation where a relative simple question can be handled in a few days and a more complicated process might require several months of interaction.
Mentor for success
Managing the mentorship cycle successfully depends on both parties agreeing to a clear objective, a realistic time engagement and a commitment to follow up accordingly. A few tips;
- Do not sit on the chair of the entrepreneur and for example write parts of his/her business plan;
- Do not take on a ‘team member role’ e.g. do the cash flow analysis when the entrepreneur should hire a financial expert to do this;
- Mentoring should be about transferring skills and knowledge. The entrepreneur has the responsibility to implement what they feel is relevant and always makes the final decision.
Last but certainly not least
We don’t charge fees, we don’t ask for financial gain, we do this out of our shared interest to see entrepreneurs realize their potential.