Mentors and role models are especially important to girls, young women and budding entrepreneurs. Mentors serve in a variety of roles to help a mentee achieve a goal. A girl who plays sports is already familiar with a mentor, their coach. In the business world, a mentor can be an invaluable resource to help a young woman succeed. A mentor can listen to a young entrepreneur’s concerns and challenges; and coach, sharing experiences and giving advice to help solve problems as they arise. EMpower describes the different roles a mentor may play including:
- Teacher: sharing knowledge and skills
- Guide: sharing insights step by step
- Counsellor: listening and supporting
- Coach: encouraging and motivating
Coaches are mentors of one kind, and many of the same considerations of the coach-girl relationship, such as imbalance of power, hold true for mentor programmes. Women Win’s International Guide to Designing Sport Programmes for Girls provides information about training coaches. The EMpower handbook “It’s Her Business”, Chapter 8 learning from and coping with challenges, outlines some key steps to develop an effective mentorship programme.