Entrepreneurship Development and Innovation Institute’s mission is to ensure that every first generation Entrepreneur in Tamil Nadu gets support for any entrepreneurial activity. EDII believes that giving training must be followed up with advisory support for early stage entrepreneurs, including mentoring & networking. ‘Experience’ is a very ‘expensive Asset’and yet it is crucial to any business.
What is Mentoring ?
‘Mentoring’ is a one-to-one relationship whereby one individual supports another to achieve their goal and aspirations. Business mentors will support a mentee (the new entrepreneur) over an agreed period of time. It is a confidential relationship built on mutual trust and respect. Mentors are non-judgemental in their relationship. A mentor is not expected to undertake the task or actions on behalf of the mentee. Research and Surveys prove that having a mentor is important to success. The valuable connections, timely advice, occasional checks, will literally leapfrog the mentee to success. It is useful to remember : ‘One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot to see and to help them navigate a course to their destination’ – John C. Maxwell.
‘Networking’ combines an entrepreneur’s personal knowledge with their ability to connect to others in a country and the whole world. This combination serves as a proxy for networking, which is also an important ingredient of successful venture creation and entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs who have better networks are more successful, can identify more viable opportunities, and can access more and better resources. Mentoring should lead to better network connections and networking skills.
EDII wishes to focus on improving startup skills and networking among new entrepreneurs in an intensive manner through the EDII Business Facilitation Services Program (EDII-BFSP).
Who can be a Business Mentor?
Business mentors can be from all walks of life, typically experienced entrepreneurs. Others who are experts in an aspect of business such as accounting, marketing, finance, production, quality management, export procedures, etc., such as senior executives from public and private sector corporations, organizations and businesses with experience in business related sectors, aptitude for coaching, willingness to allocate time for mentees periodically and business achievements enough to inspire entrepreneurs are welcome to be enrolled as mentors with EDII. The qualities we look for in a mentor are: concern for new entrepreneurs, positive coaching skills, willingness to honestly share business or industry experience or technical expertise without any commercial or financial expectations in return.
Are there any rules for Business Mentors?
Mentors are expected to adhere to the EDII Mentor’s Code of Honor. Though it is expected that mentors enrolled by EDII will have been mentors in the past in their organisations formally or informally, EDII believes that an orientation would help. EDII will organise a 3 hour induction program with the help of experienced partners like BYST.
Mentors are volunteers interested in giving back to society. Paid mentorship is not in the scope of this project. An annual mentors meet will also be organised where outstanding mentors would be honored.
Mentoring Partner Institutions
EDII BFS Program, in which Mentoring is a part, will be implemented through BYST in Chennai, Thiruvallur and Kanchipuram. In other districts, reputed MSME Industry Associations or MSME Product Associations which have reasonable infrastructure, track record of conducting regular programs and proper staffing would be supporting EDII.
How do I register ?
Mentors and mentees can register online at the EDII Mentoring Platform by signing in to create an account and thereafter filling in your profile as a mentor. The online platform shall be SMS and email linked to enable alerts for requests or messages. An Android App being launched as part of the EDII Mentors Platform will also enable electronic chats between mentors and mentees. Mentors are requested to provide clear and specific information in the profile to enable mentees to clearly understand the support they can expect of each.
How do I link up with Mentees ?
Since it is a demand driven process, only mentees may request mentorship from any mentor through the EDII mentoring platform. Mentors may decide whether to accept the request. Alternatively, during the training conducted by RSETI or a partner under this program, a mentor will be assigned by the partner for a set of new entrepreneurs. Any entrepreneur walking into EDII or its parter officers may also request mentorship, based on which a registered mentor may be requested to provide mentorship.
Mentors are expected to work out the interaction frequency and mode with the mentees. This can be a combination of telephonic interaction, personal visits by mentor to the mentee’s place of business and vice versa. The mentor platform will also provide for recording feedback of the performance of mentees, besides allowing mentees to rate their mentors. Partners are expected to maintain a record of the performance of the each mentor and each mentee in a format to be jointly designed for this purpose.
EDII is also aware that a scientific approaches to mentoring may be best in the long run, being an interpersonal process and will periodically share best practices and learning from across the world through email alerts, conferences and meetings. Mentors may also subscribe to the EDII blog and newsletter, which will aim to fill in the knowledge and pedagogical gaps.
In what ways can a mentor help?
Some of the typical ways in which a mentor can help are:
- Help review the business model and help in validating it and preparing a bankable business plan
- Guide an entrepreneur in launching a business, guide and assist him in this process
- Provide focused support in a particular dimension such as accounting, marketing, production, quality management, diversification, technology, etc.
- Periodically (frequency to be set mutually) review progress of the business and problem solving
- Provide business development ideas and strategies, until the business becomes sustainable.
- Assist partners as part of the Business Plan Review Committee (a committee, of mentors including retired bankers) in reviewing business plans before they are cleared for submission by the bank. The Committee will meet once in a month or more frequently to review such applications.
Is Mentoring beneficial to mentors ?
Mentoring is a way of giving back to society a small portion of benefits which each of us have taken from it. Nevertheless, mentoring is a very satisfying process for mentors as well for the following reasons:
Mobile mentoring clinics:
These will be operated in tribal areas. We need mentors who are willing to travel and offer their expertise during their monthly visits. The travel cost will be borne by EDII. Under this initiative a group of experts may travel together and organise a days camp in a remote area where there is potential for business. The costs will be sanctioned based on proposals of partner agencies
Areas of operation
In Chennai, Thiruvallur and Kanchipuram, EDII will organise these programs in association with BYST.
In all other districts, all these programs would be carried out through partners. These programs will be held in a location to be decided by the partner, including DIC offices, as is convenient and based on expected number of participants.
EDII partners will organise quarterly review meetings to assess progress of mentees and assess ways to strengthen mentoring. An online rating and feedback form is being added to the EDII Mentoring Platform for mentors and mentees to rate each other.
Outcomes expected from the program are:
Ease of launching businesses
Better confidence of entrepreneurs
Lower mortality of new enterprises
Better profitability of new enterprises
EDII welcomes you to join the team of ‘Mentor’ and join hands in promoting successful entrepreneurs in the state of Tamil Nadu. Any clarification or information with reference to mentoring can be sought by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone to Thiru.Anandan, Deputy Director (CDP) by phone 044-22252081/82