For students starting a commercial or social venture, being mentored by someone more experienced can be invaluable.
For an enterprising student, a mentoring relationship provides a space for:
- Shared experiences – a 1-2-1 relationship relevant to the business and the opportunity to learn from someone else’s mistakes.
- Development –Performance support in the best way to develop the awareness, knowledge, skills and expertise required to be a success.
- Networking –access to suppliers, investors, prospective customers and others who might be able to help.
- Confidence and Encouragement –someone to help you deal with knock-backs or challenges and stay motivated to succeed.
For a mentor:
Supporting a young entrepreneur starting up can be a unique and rewarding experience, with wide-ranging benefits. If you are Lancaster Alumni you can give something very personal and enabling back to the University in a way that suits you. If you are a local or regional business you can support someone who is now walking in your shoes. If you are a student who has started a venture supporting another student starting the same journey can be a way to develop your leadership skills.
Some benefits past mentors have enjoyed:
- Collaborative learning – collaborating on projects can benefit everyone involved. Even the successful business entrepreneur could learn something new!
- Access to innovation – small businesses can be the most innovative and forward-thinking in the UK. Working with them will help you to stay on top of future developments and trends.
- University Engagement – connecting with students and businesses from a top university.
- Community Recognition – becoming an active mentor in the start-up/small business community mentors have earned recognition as an expert in the field.
- Development – being able to teach and support an individual or organisation is a skill in itself and one past mentors have developed.
How does it work?
- Mentoring is a 1-2-1 relationship over a set period of time.
- It is a relationship between a business person and a student or staff member who is developing a commercial or social venture.
- The mentor provides consistent support, guidance and practical help to a less experienced person.
- This might be sector specific mentoring or general start up mentoring.
- It is a 2 way process. The mentor shares their insights, feedback, skills, experience, and contacts with the mentee. The mentor learns from the process.
- The mentoring relationship is a way of enabling the mentee to gain skills, knowledge and the confidence to perform at a higher level.
- Mentoring happens over an agreed period of time or number of sessions to achieve agreed goals.
- We are grateful to our growing bank of alumni and business mentors who give their time and resources to supporting fledgling ventures.
- We will aim to match applicants with someone to meet startup or sector related needs.
- Available during the academic year subject to availability and eligibility.
Details on how to request mentor support can be found here. If you would like to register your interest in becoming a mentor to an enterprising or entrepreneurial student please download and return a Mentoring Expression of Interest form and we’ll be in touch.
You can explore the benefits of mentoring on these recommended Startup resource websites :