StartUp NCW has teamed up with MicroMentor, a nonprofit organization that specializes in enabling mentoring relationships online. MicroMentor’s mission is to leverage the power of mentoring to help small buisinesses and nonprofit organizations thrive.
To meet potential mentors, you'll use the MicroMentor online portal to leverage the expertise of more experienced business owners, free of charge, to engage in a virtual mentoring relationship that addresses an organizational challenge you are facing.
How Does It Work?
The MicroMentor online platform helps mentors and mentees connect to develop a meaningful online mentoring relationship, and the process is easy!
Create a profile and search for several profiles that seem interesting to you, by using the advanced search filters in the mentor search page.
Send out messages to multiple people inviting them to connect and determine if they are a good fit.
When you make a connection, work together to identify business needs, create a workplan, and start mentoring! (Check out the “MicroMentor Toolkit: Getting Started” for more information).
What is the goal of mentoring?
The goal is to leverage your mentor’s expertise to address a business challenge you are facing and work through it together. This can take multiple forms:
Getting to the heart of a specific challenge
Putting together a specific action plan that you can implement to solve your challenge
Working through ideas to structure your business strategy
Overcoming hurdles together through troubleshooting and brainstorming
Reviewing the results of projects and soliciting feedback
What are some tips for finding a good match?
After you create a profile, you will be able to search for a mentor on the platform. Our matching algorithm takes the first pass at pushing profiles that align with your pown to the top of the list. You can then filter by industry, expertise, country, language and more. Then, reach out to several people by starting a conversation on the platform and determine your best fit for a mentoring relationship.
What if I don’t get a response or it’s not a good fit?
Sometimes, the reality is that both mentors and entrepreneurs are too busy juggling workload to return frequently to the MicroMentor site and some can be unresponsive. If a user doesn’t respond to your message, try messaging several others until you find a few who are interested. And of course, it's not the right fit, that's okay! In your first conversations, you are just getting a feel for whether you make a good mentoring match. If it doesn’t see like a good fit, be polite but honest and tell them you think a different user would better serve them. If you have any parting resources to share, that is helpful also. Finally, use the experience to learn what to try differently when starting your next mentoring connection.
What is the total time commitment?
Since every mentoring relationship is different, the time commitment and terms are largely up to you to decide with your mentor/mentee. Some mentoring pairs meet for one session and some have ongoing relationships over weeks or months. You can decide this with your mentor/mentee in your first few interactions. Please see below a list of time guidelines to help you plan:
Set up your profile on MicroMentor (10 minutes)
Browse for an mentor/mentee, send messages and schedule your first meeting (1 hour)
First meeting (1.5 hours)
Meet with your mentoring pair on a regular basis (Average connections devote 10-12 hours of time to preparation, phone conversations, and e-mails over the course of 3 months)
How do I get started?
To join, visit the sign-up page here.