GSEA Mentoring FAQs
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Welcome to the frequently asked questions site for the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards Mentoring Program. Thank you for taking the time to learn about our program. We hope that this information will help you to decide to complete our interest form.

(Scroll down below questions to see full text)
Q1. What is the purpose of the GSEA Mentoring program?
 
 
A1. The purpose of the GSEA Mentoring program is to enhance the learning experience of the GSEA competition finalists by matching them with an appropriate, experienced business leader for a year-long mentoring relationship.
Q2. What are the goals of the GSEA Mentoring program?
 
 
A2. The mentoring program is designed to provide 42 GSEA student finalists with access to mentors who can help them foster high level leadership and entrepreneurial success as they grow their business. Specifically: developing a better understanding of the business and industry; providing tools for enhanced leadership and critical thinking; guiding the entrepreneurs through the key decision points or challenges in their company; serving as a sounding board to strategic plans; and expanding professional networks and opportunities to share experiences with other emerging entrepreneurs.

 

Q3. How does the mentoring program work?
 
 
A3Prospective mentors will register on the GSEA MicroMentor page HERE and create a profile describing their business experience and interests. Mentors will be matched with prospective mentees based on expertise, industry, and location. Prospective mentor matches for the GSEA finalists will be selected based on the finalist pool, and will receive customized training developed by EO and MicroMentor. They will then engage with the mentee in a structured, year-long relationship supported by EO and MicroMentor.
 
Q4. What qualifications do I need?
 
 
A4. EO is seeking business leaders from any industry with entrepreneurial experience to mentor the GSEA finalists. Ideally, the GSEA mentors will have founded or co-founded a business, or have C-Level experience with a company which has revenues over $1million per year.
 
We are also recruiting skills-based mentors with experience in functional business areas who can help mentees with specific issues. For example, if you work in...

1. Accounting and Finance: Help a mentee select or improve bookkeeping or inventory systems, or fine-tune an operating budget. Share experiences that will help mentee identify potential problems, such as embezzlement.

2. Human Resources: Guide the mentee on their employee search and selection process, or help to identify, through shared experiences, parameters around appropriate hiring strategies going forward.

3. Financial Resources: Share experiences of working with investors or lenders, or facilitate networking opportunities with known sources. Help mentee identify and prepare for opportunities for financing.

4. Strategy: Review the mentee's business plan and help to assess risks, share pointers for following and reaching the top of the market, and review their mission and vision with an eye toward avoiding pitfalls. 

5. Marketing:  Review and provide feedback on brand messaging, copywriting, or online marketing campaigns; or provide guidance for analyzing search engine optimization (SEO) results.

6. PR & Communications: Review and help strategize about the mentee's press kit, press release writing and distribution, or blog.

7. Social Media: Consult with the mentee on their social media strategy and give guidance on crisis issues, such as how to respond to negative reviews or comments.

8. Technology: Provide guidance and experience share on technology pitfalls and issues, such as customization of databases, hardware networking, or software choice. 

(Adapted from The Volunteering & Giving Blog for Corporations:  10 Employee Engagement Ideas for Skills Based Volunteering, Posted by Auren Kaplan)
 
 
Q5. If I volunteer to mentor, what will I need to do? 
(Check out our "Getting Started" video!)
 
 
A5. The EO mentoring process follows a structured format which includes a minimum number of face-to-face meeetings, as well as phone and email communication as appropriate. Mentors will also participate in a custom training session, and complete surveys to evaluate progress and program results. EO will provide mentors with meeting templates, best practices, strategy tools, and guidelines.
 
EO Mentorship is a one-on-one relationship between a mentee and a mentor that is guided by clear goals and timeframes to achieve high-level leadership and personal development. Within these formal mentoring relationships, mentees are responsible to create growth objectives and milestones, while mentors provide insight, perspective and support within a safe, intimate environment of idea and experience exchange.
 
Elements of the mentorship include:
  • Regular face-face meetings – scheduled monthly for 1-3 hours of uninterrupted time.
  • Written and shared SMART goals – focused on achieving desired outcomes.
  • A 12 month timeframe – a time boundary that creates urgency.
  • Mentee leadership – fostering personal responsibility, growth & development.
  • Structure and accountability – maximizing your time and investment.

Successful Mentorships: 1) Occur in a structured framework that lasts 10-12 months, with a beginning, middle and end; 2) Carry out in disciplined, regular, face to face meetings of focused discussion (1-3 hours per month); and 3) Aim to set and achieve goals, build trust and confidence, and offer useful feedback.  

 
 
 
 
Q6. As a mentor, what will I get out of volunteering?
 
 
A6. Volunteer mentors will be paired with emerging student business owners, who are shaping the future of the world economy with innovation, enthusiasm, and proven business models. The program offers business leaders the opportunity to engage in the community and participate in an employee volunteer campaign which accesses their professional skills and capabilities, creates positive change, and enhances the public image of your company with local stakeholders.
  • Volunteerism gives employees the chance to apply their skill sets while enhancing their professional development.
  • Mentors can learn about new businesses in new industries.
  • Mentoring offers an opportunity for mentors to share a lifetime of learning and “pay it forward” by giving back in a way that brings real value to their communities.
 
 
Q7. Does mentoring really work? 
(Check out our "Really Important Stuff" video on best practices!)
 
 
A7Yes! EO's mentoring program has been in effect for the past 10 years, and has many success stories. Mentorship is a program that creates impact on the deepest level – engaging pairs in a synergistic, one-on-one relationship, mentoring accelerates personal development by focusing on goals, accountability and results. It’s a platform for gaining new perspective, sharing feedback and learning from another’s experience in an intimate setting. Whether serving as a mentee or a mentor, entrepreneurs across the globe rank mentorship as one of their most valuable experiences.
 
Q8. I am not available to mentor, but how else can I become involved?
 
 
A8If you know a student entrepreneur who may qualify for the GSEA competition, please tell them about the program and encourage them to enter! More information can be found on the GSEA nomination page. You can also support the program by making monetary or in kind donations. For more information about funding, please contact Joy Parisi at jparisi@eonetwork.org or 703.519.6700.
Q9. What are the characteristics of the students who are mentored?
 
 
A9. Learn more about the mentees by clicking below.
 
Mentoring is easy to understand with the help of our tools, such as video tutorials.
Check out the rest of our videos:
 
  
   What is Mentorship?
 
   Mentorship Structure
 
   and
 
   Models for Success
 
And last, but not least, EO and MicroMentor dedicated mentorship team members are always ready to answer any questions and help you with the process!
 
Questions about mentoring? Please contact EO at mentorship@eonetwork.org or Margaret Black at 703.519.6700.
 
Questions about the MicroMentor platform? Please contact support@micromentor.org or 503.896.5000.
 

Learn more about the Entrepreneurs Organization and find us on facebook  and twitter
Learn more about the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) and find us on facebook  and twitter
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The Global Student Entrepreneur Awards, a program of the Entrepreneurs' Organization, 
is supported in part by Thomas Franchise Solutions, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and NYSE Euronext.
The GSEA Mentoring program is partially funded by the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs.
 
For more information about funding, or to donate, please contact
Joy Parisi at jparisi@eonetwork.org or 703.519.6700
The Entrepreneurs' Organization is a 501 (C) 3 non-profit organization.