One-to-One Mentoring: Questions & Answers

1. How does One-to-One Mentoring work?
2. What is the role of the Mentee?
3. Am I eligible to become a One-to-One Mentee?
4. What is the role of the Mentor?
5. How do I become a One-to-One Mentor?
6. What if I have a specific Mentor in mind?
7. What does it cost to participate?

1. How does One-to-One Mentoring work?

One-to-One Mentoring matches women in the early stages of operating a business with women who have five plus years experience running a business. Matches are based on:

  • Industry experience or knowledge
  • Mentor business expertise vs. Mentee business challenges
  • Location
  • Personality

Mentors and Mentees will meet for a minimum of two hours a month for six months; meetings can be held in person, by phone, e-mail or online tools.

Mentees develop three business goals they would like to achieve over the course of the six months they are working with a Mentor. Those goals then become the basis of the mentoring relationship. By focusing on achieving their goals with the support and guidance of a Mentor, Mentees will develop the confidence and skill they need to succeed in business.

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2. What is the role of the Mentee?

A Mentee is an entrepreneur in the early stages of operating a business who is motivated and committed to work towards her business goals and report on any progress or stumbling blocks to a Mentor. 

Mentees must be willing to:

  • Dedicate a minimum of two hours a month to the mentoring relationship
  • Set three business goals to work towards
  • Receive constructive feedback
  • Accept suggestions and advice
  • Be open to new ideas and change
  • Be respectful of their Mentor
  • Take initiative in maintaining a relationship with a Mentor
  • Commit to the development and growth of their business

New entrepreneurs can find power and confidence in sharing their concerns with a Mentor who is a guide, a role model, a sounding board and a supporter.This can help women tap into the experiences of mentors for a second opinion - or sometimes emotional support - and think ahead with clarity and vision.

Mentees benefit from:

  • Receiving personalized advice
  • Improving their business knowledge
  • Receiving an outside perspective
  • Increased productivity
  • Growing confidence from support regarding business decisions
  • New networks and partnerships within the business community
  • Emotional support
  • Relief from isolation through regular, supportive contact with someone who cares about them and their businesses

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3. Am I eligible to become a One-to-One Mentee?

If you are a woman in the early stages of business, actively operating your business in British Columbia and would like to participate in the One-to-One Mentoring Program, be sure to sign up here for our eBlasts for the latest updates on the intakes of our Mentoring Program.

All applications will be reviewed for eligibility. Successful applicants must be:

  • Actively operating a business in British Columbia and generating revenue
  • In the early stages of business operation (in the first five years)
  • Female and over the age of 19
  • Available for a minimum of two hours a month for six months

Eligible applicants will be contacted by Women's Enterprise Centre with further details about participation in the program. A one-time fee of $150 is required to secure your space in the program.

Pre-start-ups are not eligible for the mentoring program; however, you can seek professional guidance from our Business Advisors.

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4. What is the role of the Mentor?

Being a Mentor means giving back to your community while greatly influencing the success of another woman in business. A Mentor passes on her knowledge and experience to help a new entrepreneur learn and grow through a relationship based on encouragement, trust and respect.

A Mentor’s main role is to help a Mentee to develop and strengthen her business, specifically by focusing on business issues and business goals. A Mentor is also a sounding board, offering an open ear, empathy, encouragement and support.

Mentors can provide not only practical insights about the nuts and bolts of running a business, but emotional support as well. A business Mentor knows from experience what knowledge might be missing and how it feels during the first years to believe in the business and keep moving forward in spite of the challenges.

Mentors benefit from:

  • Feeling pride, as they share vicariously in their Mentee’s growth and development
  • Increasing their own knowledge as they take on a task that may require them to exercise new skills
  • Experiencing increased professional recognition for volunteering their time
  • Experiencing professional renewal as they guide their Mentee through challenges
  • Expanding their own networks
  • Feeling satisfaction in helping others to avoid mistakes they may have made themselves
  • Acting as a role model to other women in business

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5.  How do I become a One-to-One Mentor?

Many women entrepreneurs are modest about their accomplishments, so you may have been in business for a few years but you may not think you’re really ‘ready’ to mentor someone else yet. Well, you may be more qualified than you think!

Here’s what we’d like you to have in order to become a Mentor with our program:

  • Five years operating your own business, or equivalent experience
  • The willingness to communicate, empathize and inspire trust
  • Time to commit two hours per month for six months to your Mentee
  • Willingness to respect the fine line between giving advice and feedback and telling the Mentee what to do

If you would like to help another woman succeed by becoming a One-to-One Mentor, please apply today by filling out the One-to-One Mentoring Mentor application form. A Mentoring Program Coordinator will be in touch within five business days of receiving your application. If you have any further questions, please e-mail us at

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6. What if I have a specific Mentor in mind?

We encourage Mentees to make specific Mentor requests! If there is a woman in business who you would like to connect with to become your Mentor, please include her name, business and contact information on your application form and Women's Enterprise Centre will try to facilitate a match by approaching her on your behalf.

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7. What does it cost to participate?

The cost of the Mentoring program is $150. To secure your place in the program, payment of the fee is required within two business days of your acceptance notification. 

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