Men­tor makes the dif­fer­ence

Sunday World - - World Of Jobs -

THE most re­cent Global En­trepreneur­ship Mon­i­tor re­port (GEM re­port 2013) sug­gests that in sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa al­most as many women as men are start­ing new busi­nesses. In South Africa last year, 58% of en­trepreneurs were men and 42% women, the sur­vey showed.

The re­port said: “Fe­male en­trepreneurs are gen­er­ally more sat­is­fied: on av­er­age they ex­hibit higher scores on sub­jec­tive well­be­ing and work-life bal­ance… A more even gen­der bal­ance in en­trepreneur­ship could im­ply a bet­ter work-life bal­ance for so­ci­ety … It may there­fore be fruit­ful to con­vince tal­ented fe­males con­sid­er­ing start­ing a busi­ness to take the fi­nal hur­dle… To this end other fe­male en­trepreneurs could play an im­por­tant func­tion, as a role model or men­tor.”

The Hope Fac­tory be­lieves that hav­ing a men­tor is a key fac­tor in the suc­cess and sus­tain­abil­ity of a small busi­ness.

The num­bers around men­tor­ship speak for them­selves – re­search has shown that 80% of en­trepreneurs who have men­tors sur­vive long term, ver­sus only 45% who don’t have a men­tor. By en­sur­ing that women who en­ter into en­tre­pre­neur­ial pur­suits are sup­ported through men­tor­ship pro­grammes, we can in­crease the suc­cess rate of women-owned busi­nesses and en­cour­age more women to en­gage in en­tre­pre­neur­ial pur­suits.

“Each en­trepreneur who takes part in one of our pro­grammes is as­signed a busi­ness men­tor who guides them in their en­tre­pre­neur­ial jour­ney,” says The Hope Fac­tory chief ex­ec­u­tive Annie McWal­ter.

Some en­trepreneurs have seen rad­i­cal growth in a short time, like Potso Mathekga, owner of Mag­gie’s Orig­i­nal Mageu. She showed 51% growth in turnover and a 37% in­crease in profit af­ter just eight months of men­tor­ship.

Jo­hanna Mashigo and her son, coown­ers of Full Menu Cater­ing, are another suc­cess story. Be­fore join­ing the pro­gramme they were op­er­at­ing at a 73% loss, and are now show­ing a 43% profit.

Last year The Hope Fac­tory men­tored 144 busi­nesses in Port El­iz­a­beth and 43 in Joburg.

“See­ing busi­nesses grow from strength to strength is what mo­ti­vates me… and, most im­por­tantly, see­ing the en­trepreneurs’ per­sonal devel­op­ment,” says busi­ness men­tor Busi Raphek­wane.

“Men­tor­ship is so im­por­tant for the long-term suc­cess of a busi­ness and the devel­op­ment of the busi­ness owner. More men­tor­ship pro­grammes are needed to help en­cour­age women to take up the en­tre­pre­neur­ial chal­lenge,” McWal­ter adds.

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