Young people mentoring adults, the newest and innovative method
Some situations can reverse the traditional concept of business mentoring, usually done by adults to young people. Now young entrepreneurs are in charge of acquiring the skills to become mentors.
It’s easy to lose track of what’s the latest and greatest, and even more if the person is a long term unemployed adult. The rapid advance of technology and being in a situation of risk of exclusion hamper the access to the new business reality for some adult people.
Four key factors have an important influence on the degree of business growth entrepreneurs from senior people:
- The grow willingness and motivation of the entrepreneur
- Access to finance
- Advanced entrepreneurial skills (e.g. leadership and management skills)
- Access to entrepreneurial networks.
Growth expectations for youth and older entrepreneurs (2009-2013)
That knowledge gap can leave them feeling left behind and increasingly isolated from the very technologies that could foster greater connection to the world around them. Unless a group with enormous potential come into play.
This means that a reverse mentorship takes off. The traditional concept of business mentoring, usually done by adults to young people, becomes altered. However, there is such a long list of reasons that turns this methodology into the newest solution. Technologies, start-up mentality, innovative perspective, social media,… fresh air. The young mentor makes their older mentee feel younger, energised and motivated.
“One of the keys to growing a business is the ability to recognise opportunities and exploit them through the mobilisation of the necessary resources” (Aldrich, 1999).
Mentoring is defined in “The missing Entrepreneurs 2015” by the OECD as a professional relationship where an experienced person (the mentor) assists another (the mentee) in developing skills and knowledge. These relationships are typically more long-term than another kind of relationship (like coaching) and often focus more on personal development.
In this case, mentors are young entrepreneurs who are mentoring adults in a situation of unemployment. For this, mentors might be aware of this disadvantaged position and find the key to the success of mentoring schemes. According to “The missing Entrepreneurs 2015”, it is necessary:
- A good match between the mentor and the mentee.
- The relationship should be allowed to develop according to the needs of each party, even if they often begin in a face-to-face manner. This flexibility can improve the attractiveness of the support for mentors, as well as for mentees.
- A set of objectives should be developed for the relationship at the outset and progress towards these goals should be tracked.
- Mentoring relationships should have a fixed duration. This avoids the construction of a relationship of dependence.
- Training should be provided to mentors and an induction process used.
Mentoring can be an effective intervention for increasing the business success of long term unemployed adults in entrepreneurship.
They can enable entrepreneurs to learn, make better decisions about how to develop their businesses, expand their networks and get better access to resources and markets. Mentees can also be engaged in participating more fully in local entrepreneurial networks.
The benefits of mentoring interventions lie in the ability of the mentor to transfer knowledge to the client entrepreneur or more importantly, to empower the client entrepreneur to optimise their own learning.
#mentoring #intergenerational #entrepreneurship #methodology
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