Last week, I had a very interesting meeting with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women (CBFfW), a relatively new charity set up by barrister Cherie Blair, which aims to strengthen the capacity of women entrepreneurs in countries where they lack equal opportunities, thus enabling them to grow their businesses and become greater contributors to their economies.
The Foundation aims to offer women better access to business development support networks and finance in areas of the world which include India, Israel, Kenya, Malawi and Palestine.
The CBFfW is now launching their Mentoring Women in Business Pilot and if you’d like to be a Mentor … read on.
The 10-month pilot programme will support women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh, India, Israel and Palestine through mentoring. Approximately 30 entrepreneurial women will be mentored by 40 successful entrepreneurs or professionals. The pilot aims to demonstrate that there are measurable and tangible benefits from partnering women with entrepreneurial potential in developing and transition countries with successful Mentors in the UK using Google’s online applications such as Sites, Docs, Chat and Gmail. The pilot will involve testing exciting new formats and applications, so the Foundation is looking for Mentors who are willing to be at the forefront of the development of this extraordinary international programme.
Being a Mentor is a great opportunity to share your knowledge and experience while helping others to succeed and learn about other cultures, places, businesses and market opportunities. Your participation in the Mentoring Women in Business Pilot will require a minimum of one hour of your time every two weeks, and the more you engage, the more you will help shape the future of the Mentoring Programme. Some of the Mentors applying for the pilot will be matched with a Mentee by July and will be able to start the mentoring relationship right away, while others will be matched in October, when a second group of Mentees will be ready to participate in the programme. Some Mentors will not be matched with a Mentee, but their involvement in the programme will be crucial for the successful management of the mentoring Platform, as they will be able to contribute to the public forums and share their expertise with Mentors and Mentees alike. The pilot phase will finish in May 2011.
Mentors are asked to provide a minimum donation of £100 per year to help support the programme and will be given training from Google on how to use Google’s applications and from renowned experts, Clutterbuck Associates and the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning, Cambridge Judge Business School, on how to develop a strong and effective mentoring relationship. The one-day training course for the Mentors will be on July 14th (it’s free) and will be a great opportunity to learn new skills and to network with like-minded people.
The Platform built with Google to run the Mentoring Women in Business Programme is now ready; if you would like additional information or have any questions, you can contact the programme’s project manager via firstname.lastname@example.org
If, having browsed the site, you’d like to apply to become a Mentor, please apply now, as the the application deadline is 23rdJune.
And please feel free to share this link with anyone who you think would be a great mentor for these women around the world.