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National Mentoring Month and Small Businesses

National Mentoring Month and Small Businesses

By Caron_Beesley, Contributor
Published: January 5, 2015

January marks the celebration of the 15th annual National Mentoring Month!

Created by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership and Harvard School of Public Health with support from the Highland Street Foundation, National Mentoring Month is all about driving systemic change to make mentoring an integral component of youth and workforce development efforts.

Mentoring has enormous benefits for our youth. It can be a powerful factor in reducing disconnects from school and work, in increasing social and economic mobility, and in creating more productive and prosperous communities. Mentored youth are:

  • 55% more likely to be enrolled in college than those who did not have a mentor.
  • 81% more likely to report participating regularly in sports or extracurricular activities.
  • More than twice as likely to say they held a leadership position in a club or sports team.
  • 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities.

For mentors themselves, the mentoring relationship with a young person provides a shared opportunity for learning and growth.

What part can small businesses play in these valuable relationships?

Finding the time outside of running a small business to mentor can be a challenge, but business owners and employees alike can benefit from mentoring relationships. Mentoring can boost employee morale, increase satisfaction and provide a meaningful way for your business to give back to the community.

If you are interested in becoming a mentor, the National Mentoring Month website can quickly connect you with local organizations who champion youth mentorship programs – simply enter your zip code and off you go.

Set up your own mentoring program

Another way that small businesses can get involved is to set up their own mentoring programs. FindYouthInfo.gov offers information on starting a mentoring program. Another useful resource is this step-by-step guide – Developing your Business as a Champion of Youth Mentoring – from the Indiana Mentoring Partnership.

Alternatively, employers can take advantage of community organizations such as Wisconsin-based Common Wealth. Common Wealth’s Youth-Business Mentoring Program provides youth an intensive three week pre-employment training followed by a job placement with a supportive business. 

If your business needs its own mentor

If you came to this blog looking for mentoring advice for your own business, whether you are a young entrepreneur or not, check out the services of SCORE. Sponsored by the SBA, SCORE is a national small business mentoring organization that can connect you with a mentor based on your needs. Read more about what SCORE can do for you in: Why A Mentor is Key to Small Business Growth and Survival.

Additional resources

About the Author:

Caron_Beesley
Caron Beesley

Contributor

Caron Beesley is a small business owner, a writer, and marketing communications consultant. Caron works with the SBA.gov team to promote essential government resources that help entrepreneurs and small business owners start-up, grow and succeed. Follow Caron on Twitter: @caronbeesley