Tag Archives: mentoring

Benefits of a mentor for entrepreneurs and employees

Benefits of a mentor

Many entrepreneurs and small business owners try to take on all the challenges, obstacles, and complications that prevent their businesses from succeeding. Two important driving forces of entrepreneurship are independence and a strong sense of self-confidence. This is when a mentor can help guide you to success.

For any entrepreneur, small business owner, or employee, a mentor is like having a big brother. A mentor can be many things from giving an occasional useful tips to providing support, knowledge, and encouragement to you to help you achieve your career goals and dreams.

For employees, there is increasing pressure to do more and contribute to the company. Often this means being more focused and knowledgeable with fewer resources and support. If you feel that your are continuously under pressure to keep up, increase your skills, and demonstrate your talents simultaneously, don’t worry you are not alone.

A mentor must be someone you who has more life experience than you, someone you like and admire, and thinks and shares your values and morals. A mentor can provide you with an invaluable informal education. Even Larry Page, Steve Jobs, and Richard Branson received guidance from mentors. It does not matter who you are or what you have achieved, a good mentor is an invaluable asset in any person life and business.

“A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could.’” – Zig Ziglar

There are countless benefits of having an experienced mentor on your team. Here are few benefits of having a mentor:

  • A mentor can offer you expert advice and guidance based on their actual experience.
  • If you have an idea for your business or product then having a mentor to bounce these ideas off can help you plan and organize how to put them into action and make them a reality. Your mentor may be able to see potential pitfalls and opportunities.
  • Having a good mentor does not cost you a cent except for time. A good mentor will never expect anything in return for the help they are providing.
  • A mentor can help to find and highlight both your strengths and weaknesses in your business model. It is very easy to develop tunnel vision as to the best way to achieve your career goals and objectives.
  • If you find the right person to mentor you then this can develop into a life-long relationship and sharing go of knowledge and experience.
  • It’s all too easy to get distracted these days so having someone to help you stay on track and focus your attention on the important things will help you maintain your personal growth and smash your professional targets.
  • There are time you want to vent your frustrations but cannot do this with partners, employees , or customers without causing instability. Mentors can help you vent and solve the causes of your frustration.
  • With the knowledge that you have a credible mentor on your team can provide you with that self-confidence when facing difficult business situations.
  • You can gain a different and fresh perspective to all your questions, confusions, and ideas.
  • You don’t have to stick to one mentor. Multiple mentors will allow you to borrow bits of expertise from lots of different people to compile a comprehensive, well-rounded cache of knowledge.
  • Starting and running a business is difficult and there are always many challenges during the early stages. Many business owners go through the same struggles and this when a mentor can provide encouragement and first-hand knowledge as to how he or she overcame these situations.
  • Not only can mentors help you improve your business skills, they can also help you with methods and strategies that will benefit you throughout your career.
  • Any good mentor bring along a network of industry connections that can open doors for you.
  • A mentor can help you with those skills that you lack or are struggling with.

Business pros mentor SA youth to start their own businesses


South African youth have been encouraged to grab opportunities and not give up on starting their own small businesses.

Motivating young adults to keep working at it, National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) chief executive Steven Ngubeni said “it’s too soon to give up and be hopeless.”

He said youth both in the country and across Africa should not wait to seize opportunities and then “cry foul” once they were gone.

Ngubeni talked to BuaNews on the sidelines of an entrepreneurial mentorship programme made available from the NYDA’s partnership with US based Evo Media.

Ngubeni believed that the majority of small businesses ended up being closed inside a year of establishment as a result of absence of mentorship.

Roughly 50 mentees from the Western Cape are going to reap some benefits from the mentorship programme, set to run for the next few days, before it is moved to Gauteng.

Noli Mini testified at the gathering the fact that her mobile health spar business has been operating well subsequent to benefiting from mentorship from the NYDA.

She pointed out that immediately after three sessions of mentorship, she quit her job to follow her dream.Mini challenged the NYDA to follow up with entrepreneurs and assist them to put into action their business strategies.


NYDA chief executive Steven Ngubeni


She also challenged other entrepreneurs to look for business opportunities and not to assume the NYDA to “perform miracles.”

Geer Kyle Dennison, a young fashion designer who not too long ago relocated to Cape Town from Johannesburg, testified that after benefiting from mentorship, three boutiques had now accepted her clothing line.

Todd Plimpton, a mentor from the US, said he at the same time learnt from the people he mentored, adding that mentoring made it easier for him to “reground” his experiences.

Jabu Cindi, who operates a transport business in Cape Town, mentioned that aside from networking, he expected to learn more from the US mentors.

Having said that, he complained that it was not easy to gain access to the products and services of the NYDA as well as their “processes that take too long.”

Western Cape NYDA chairman Ghaliep Essop said young adults could rise beyond their poor backgrounds to own profitable businesses.

According to the NYDA, in excess of 5 000 young entrepreneurs throughout the country have utilized mentoring provided by local mentors. More than 500 seasoned professionals and entrepreneurs have volunteered to be of assistance to young business people.

It highlighted that more than 50 group mentoring sessions had been held countrywide, covering key issues impacting on small businesses, including the means to access funding, business leadership and staff development.

For more information, please contact National Youth Development Agency – click here

Source: BuaNews


Alexander Forbes adopts high school

Memezelo Secondary School in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria, is the most recent public school in South Africa to partner with a well established private sector group.

Leading financial services group Alexander Forbes has adopted the school with desire to support and enhance the quality of its education and learning output. Alexander Forbes is going to share expertise and knowledge – covering anything from financial management to leadership skills – with Memezelo, with the objective of advancing administration and teaching at the school. The ultimate end goal to improve the school’s matric results.


Monetary investments into Memezelo is going to be made available down the road, said Alexander Forbes CEO Edward Kieswetter. For the moment the main objective is going to be to stabilise human capacity. To start with investments will go towards repairing the school’s hall and several classrooms, in addition a new computer laboratory and a library will be built. “We’ll start to look at building those over the next few months,” said Kieswetter.

Alexander Forbes carried out a security risk audit at the school, and discovered that safety measures should be bolstered. This, too, will undoubtedly be addressed.

Kieswetter has established a mentoring relationship with Memezelo principal Prince Maluleke, which will incorporate the transfer of management and leadership skills. The principal was invited and attended the Alexander Forbes’ leadership conference which was held in Cape Town in January 2011, where, he said, he learnt a great deal.

Management teams from both parties will in addition get together for training programmes, while teachers have been given training in personal finance management. “A financially healthy teacher is a productive teacher,” said Maluleke.


Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and Alexander Forbes CEO Edward Kieswetter


HIV/Aids training sessions for teachers are up and running, and will be carried out over 12 months.

The partnership is a direct response to Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe’s involvement in Memezelo’s affairs. He adopted the school in January 2010 in order to assist and make improvements.

“I am positive that this commitment will go a long way when it comes to enhancing the quality of education in this school,” said Motlanthe, talking at the launch. “As a result of this partnership we will turn Memezelo into one of the best performing schools.”

Earlier known as one of Gauteng’s significantly more problematic schools, Memezelo is turning the tide on poor matric performance, deficiency of order and mismanagement. The school obtained a 83.3% matric pass rate last year.

Kieswetter said Alexander Forbes intends to sustain the relationship with Memezelo over several years to come. “It truly is a journey that will actually unfold.”


Bursaries for top performers

Alexander Forbes will also be awarding bursaries to Memezelo matriculants who successfully pass with flying colours. This announcement inspired the school’s 2011 Grade 12 pupils to study hard and score high marks.

Matric pupil Babuyile Ncube fancies her prospects of receiving the coveted bursary. An orphan dependent on her grandmother, she is fully aware of the fact that the bursary could very well be a life-changing opportunity.

“It’s up to me to take this opportunity. I need to work hard,” said Ncube. The teenager, who would like to enrol for a biotechnology degree, is confident of her examination prospects. “I have many chances in making it. I need the bursary.”


Another Grade 12 pupil, Constance Madonsela, said the bursary offer was motivational.

Principal Maluleke prompted his pupils to work hard. “Go get those As, they will take all of you to university,” he told the pupils.

Alexander Forbes will concentrate on training programmes and “making bursaries accessible to committed pupils who perform well”, stated Motlanthe.


A call to adopt schools

The government is positive that far more businesses will listen to its call to invest in public schools, quite a few that happen to be disadvantaged.

Motlanthe and basic education minister Angie Motshekga connected with 150 local business leaders in last November to talk about Business-Adopt-a-School initiatives. Businesses did make pledges to support these kinds of schemes, according to Motlanthe.

Alexander Forbes initiative is “one of the first of many that I am hoping will continue to follow from the private sector”, said Motlanthe. “We encourage others from the business sector to heed this example as part of their corporate social investment programmes.”


While the government was “acutely aware” that it is responsible for the achievement of quality primary education, it also requires assistance from businesses, said the deputy president.

“The government cannot do without businesses,” said Gauteng Legislature member Molebatsi Bopape, adding that the education department has done well in transforming the school into an environment conducive to learning.

Source: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com


Tips on Making a Successful Career Change

Are you looking to transform your life? Are you looking to make changes to your daily job? Are you looking for a more rewarding career, one that suites your personality, skills, interests, life values? If you answer is yes, then be prepared to face a lot of self-reflection and planning.

When thinking about a career change you need to think seriously about the possibilities and outcomes before you decide take that leap into new career. Here are some tips to thinks about when thinking about making a career change.

Research: Examine all career possibilities before leaping into a new career. Talk to family members, friends, colleagues. Read about different career and job profiles. Consult with a career management professional, coach or mentor. The more information you have, the more successful you will be.

Examine your qualification: Ask yourself if you have the necessary education, experience, and know-how to enter into a desired career or industry. If not, you might have to consider changing your long-term goals while you go back to school / college or re-skill yourself.

Explore the Industry: Get a feel for the field and / or industry that you are interested in. Look for and read industry journals, search the internet for articles, attend conferences, and talk to people in that profession. Ask yourself if there is growth potential in your target industry.

Make a plan: The smartest thing to do is to carefully map out an effective strategy. Take into account finances, research, education, and training. Note that to make a successful career change might take several months or longer to accomplish and succeed.

Think outside the box:
Forget job titles. List what you don’t want to do. List what you think you should want to do. List what you would do if anything were possible. List what you would do if you gave yourself permission to say that you want it. Reinvent yourself.

Justify your reasons: Being unhappy at your current job is not  good reason to make a career change.  Be honest with yourself and scrutinize whether it is your actual career you are unhappy with or whether it is your employer or work environment that is the problem.

Timing: The best time to think about a career change is when you are safely nestled in your current job and position. A steady paycheck always relieves a lot of pressure. Perhaps you can start by volunteering, freelance or consulting and test the waters before you dive in.

Decide what is important for you. Ask those difficult questions. What is it you are truly seeking to do with the rest of your life? Make a list of your likes and dislikes. Appraise your skills, values, and personal interests. Are you trying to seek a new balance between your personal and professional life? Consider consulting with a career coach and / or taking a career assessment test.

Pay your dues: When changing careers don’t expect to start at the same level of seniority as your current job. Give yourself time to move up the ranks. Remember, if you find a career that you absolutely love, it will all be worth it.