The WBDC has been counseling, educating and assisting potential business owners and established business owners since 1986. Now we are expanding our services to include a mentoring program. “Women helping women” is a common theme here at the WBDC. Not only is “Women” part of our name (Women’s Business Development Center), but our staff is 96% female.
Let’s take a look at some facts about women entrepreneurs:
- According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, “male entrepreneurs in the United States outnumber their female counterparts 3.5 to 1.”
- 2010 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Study that showed that “less than half the women surveyed (47.7%) believe they are capable of starting and running a business (compared to 62.1% of men.)”
These statistics are the reason women’s business centers continue to be relevant and necessary, and why the WBDC is launching a business mentoring service. If we can close that gap by even a tenth of a percent by directing potential entrepreneurs/start-ups, and even established business owners, towards competent, qualified mentors, then we have successfully brought businesses into fruition and spurred economic development.
Need more reasons to get involved in a business mentoring relationship?
From a recent Forbes article:
Here are some of the key reasons to become a mentor, from the viewpoints of several different female mentors:
- Better understand the business: “My mentee helped me see issues in the company that I didn’t know existed.”
- Better understand how people perceive you: “I was able to see the perception others held of me, through the eyes of my mentee.”
- Create a larger network: “By helping others I’ve also created a network of allies I can rely upon when I need help.”
- Help solve issues: “I’ve been able to step out of my own shoes and help my mentees see things from other perspectives. This, in turn, has helped me in resolving issues within my own department.”
- Personal satisfaction: “I have been able to watch and actively help younger women succeed in our industry – and it’s such a wonderful feeling to help another person succeed!”