Peer Mentoring Groups: Questions & Answers

1. How do Peer Mentoring Groups work?
2. What is the role of the Mentee?
3. Am I eligible to become a Mentee in a Peer Mentoring Group?
4. What is the role of the Mentor?
5. How do I become a Mentor for a Peer Mentoring Group?
6. Where will Peer Mentoring Groups be formed?
7. What does it cost to participate?

For more information on Peer Mentoring Groups, Click here to download the Peer Mentoring Booklet in pdf format


1. How do Peer Mentoring Groups work?

Peer mentoring groups offer women entrepreneurs opportunities to discuss challenges that new businesses face and maintain a positive outlook needed for business success.

Groups of six to eight women in non-competing businesses meet under the guidance of a Mentor, an experienced entrepreneur who leads the group.  The group will meet for six, two hour sessions to:

  • Discuss the challenges of transitioning to self-employment
  • Learn from the experiences of others
  • Provide support to one another
  • Develop new business skills and knowledge

At each session, a different business topic is addressed; these topics are determined by the group members.  Common topics include:

  • Cash flow projections and management
  • Marketing strategies
  • Mission and vision statements
  • Networking skills
  • Sales 
  • Social media
  • Work/life balance

2. What is the role of the Mentee?

A Mentee is an entrepreneur in the early stages of operating a business who is committed to developing her business, achieving business goals, and improving her business skills and knowledge. 
Mentees must be willing to:

  • Share business challenges and issues
  • Contribute ideas and experiences to help other Mentees
  • Receive constructive feedback
  • Accept suggestions and advice
  • Open up to new ideas and change
  • Respect the other group members
  • Keep the confidentiality of the group discussions

Peer Mentoring Groups acknowledge women’s preference for learning through the experiences of others.  New entrepreneurs can find power and confidence in sharing their concerns with a mentor and peers in a group setting. 

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 

3. Am I eligible to become a Mentee in a Peer Mentoring Group?

If you are a woman in the early stages of business, actively operating your business in British Columbia, and would like to become a part of a Peer Mentoring Group facilitated by a successful entrepreneur, please apply today by filling out the Peer Mentoring Group Mentee application form.

All applications will be reviewed for eligibility:

  • Actively operating a business in British Columbia
  • In the early stages of business operation
  • Female and over the age of 19

Eligible applicants will be contacted by Women's Enterprise Centre with more details about participation in the program. 


4. What is the role of the Mentor?

In a Peer Mentoring Group, a Mentor is also a facilitator, providing practical insights about the nuts and bolts of running a business, offering emotional support to the mentees and keeping everyone focused during group meetings. 

There is no one personality type that makes an ideal Mentor, but certain characteristics are important.  A Mentor should be able to:

  • Build trust.  The greater the mutual trust between group members, the more the Peer Mentoring Group can mature and develop. 
  • Listen.  Actively listen to what the group members are saying in order to guide the discussion and make sure everyone has the opportunity to share their insights. 
  • Give Constructive Feedback. To do this in a non-offensive way, Mentors should use positive words, a non-judgmental tone of voice and be able to facilitate group discussion on possible solutions or actions that can be taken. 

Being a Mentor means giving back to your community while greatly influencing the success of other women in business.  There is much to gain by volunteering.  Mentors often benefit from:

  • Feeling pride, as they share vicariously in their mentees’ growth and development
  • Increasing their own knowledge
  • Experiencing increased professional recognition for volunteering their time
  • Experiencing professional renewal as they guide their mentees 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

5. How do I become a Mentor for a Peer Mentoring Group?

Women’s Enterprise Centre is accepting applications from women in all BC communities who are interested in facilitating a Peer Mentoring Group. We are seeking successful women in business who have:

  • Five years, or equivalent experience, operating their own business
  • The willingness to communicate, empathize and inspire trust
  • The ability to commit to six sessions over a six month period ( minimum of 2-3 hours per month )
  • Availability to receive training from Women’s Enterprise Centre
  • The ability to encourage all members to participate actively in the group
  • Can facilitate balanced sharing between group members

 A detailed description of the roles and responsibilities involved in facilitating a Peer Mentoring Group can be found in the Peer Mentoring Group Booklet, available for download in a pdf format. 

If you are interested in becoming part of this Mentoring Program, please apply today by filling out the Peer Mentoring Group 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 mentoring@womensenterprise.ca.


6. Where will Peer Mentoring Groups be formed?

Peer Mentoring Groups can be formed anywhere in British Columbia where there is adequate demand.
If you or someone in your community is interested in starting a Peer Mentoring Group, please contact the Mentoring Program Coordinator at mentoring@womensenterprise.ca to discuss details on how to get started.


7. What does it cost to participate?

Taking the Leap to Entrepreneurship Mentoring program is partially funded by the Ministry of Jobs,Tourism, and Innovation. The cost of the Mentoring program is $150 per person. The program fee of $150 is required within five business days of your acceptance letter to secure your place.

 

Funding provided through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement

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