How to be a mentor to an entrepreneur

When an entrepreneur gets into apprenticeship training, he/she needs a mentor for guidance. That could be you.

Mentoring an entrepreneur means that you support and guide another entrepreneur, so that he/she can achieve the objectives he/she has set. In apprenticeship training, the aim of the entrepreneur is not only to gain a qualification that he/she has chosen, but also to develop his/her own company and to develop him/herself as an entrepreneur.

As a mentor, you will have as your tool your own experience – of doing business, of working life and of operating in different networks. Your job is also to encourage and give unbiased and critical feedback.

An entrepreneur can find you as a mentor from within his/her own networks or nationally from the Good Deal Mentor Bank.

You are suitable as a mentor for an entrepreneur if you have

  • experience of entrepreneurship
  • time and the will to share your expertise with another entrepreneur
  • interest in professional development
  • special expertise, for example in sales, marketing, management, finance or strategic planning
  • a desire to test out new thoughts and ideas with a student entrepreneur.

As a mentor, you undertake to:

  • plan, guide and support the student entrepreneur in his/her own objectives
  • meet him/her regularly throughout the duration of his/her studies, i.e. for about 1½ years
  • observe the values of a Good Deal mentor, which are confidentiality, a target-oriented approach and respect of learning
  • assess the entrepreneur’s learning regularly
  • act in co-operation with the college and apprenticeship centre
  • participate in Good Deal mentor coaching.

As a mentor, you will get:

  • meaningful new activity in addition to your own entrepreneurship
  • an opportunity for your own professional development
  • new perspectives on entrepreneurship and learning
  • a spark of inspiration when you can share success with another entrepreneur
  • a great network of entrepreneurs from other fields.

To become a mentor, you are not required to have any formal pedagogical qualifications. However, you should familiarise yourself with the special features of adult education, so that you can understand what factors affect studying, learning and development.

As a mentor, you should be aware of what things make adult learning easier and what can be barriers to learning. You too can benefit from this in your own learning.

You will get support and coaching about mentoring an entrepreneur from your local apprenticeship centre. As a mentor of a student entrepreneur, you will receive a small nominal fee. You will develop as a mentor if you take part in training and joint functions organised for mentors. This will also give you added drive for your own career as an entrepreneur.