Oct 8, 2013

Finding a mentor, and a good one, is never easy. However, when you start your business or want to take it to the next level, having someone who can tell you if you’re heading in the right direction can be a “make it or break it” deal.
A mentor is someone you can brainstorm with and use as a sounding board. He or she is a person who has been there before you, who understands the challenges and dilemmas you are facing. Your mentor has experience and a wide network, two major aspects that you, as a young entrepreneur tend to lack.
Having seen the importance of mentorship contributing to the success of an enterprise, or the lack thereof leading to its failure, Mara Foundation re-launches its flagship mentorship programme: Mara Mentor One-on-One.
So how do we put together top executives with young entrepreneurs? First we thoroughly select amazing people from the business world, who have relevant experience and are genuinely interested in supporting a young startup, as Mara Mentors.
Then we encourage entrepreneurs to apply for the mentorship programme through a simple online form and invite the most promising candidates to our matching event at the Mara Launchpad.
At the matching event, all entrepreneurs will get a chance to interact face to face with every mentor for a whole of three minutes. Three minutes to sell your idea, explain why you are an amazing entrepreneur with a lot of potential who could go much further with the support of a Mentor.
Then it’s up to the Mentors to pick and choose who they want to mentor for the next six months. Maybe you remind them of themselves when they were younger, maybe they find your business idea extraordinary, maybe they just get a good vibe from you. At the end of the day, the matching is done because there is a connection between you and the Mentor, not because you are a good match on paper.
Mara Foundation Country Director Tanzania Nina Werner.
The first cycle of Mara Mentor One-on-One kick-started on March 1st 2013, the same day Mara Foundation officially launched. Now six months have passed, we have monitored the progress that all the mentees have made and now is the time to start our second cycle.
A group of inspiring Mentors already confirmed their participation in the Mara Mentor One-on-One Cycle 2, among others Lawrence Mafuru (Kwanza Financial Services), Charles Washoma and Margareth Chacha (Tanzania Women’s Bank), Mercedes Martin (Reel2Real Film Productions), Andrew Mahiga (Maanisha!), Irene Kiwia (Frontline Porter Novelli), Kelvin Twissa (Vodacom), Patrick Ngowi (Helvetic Solar) and Lau Masha (IMMMA Advocates). They all will get together on September 27th at Mara Foundation’s Launchpad at Mayfair Plaza to choose their mentees.
What if you weren’t invited to the matchmaking event or heard about it too late? No need to worry, Mara Mentor also exists online!
Mayfair Plaza • Old Bagamoyo Road • PO Box 40026 • Dar es Salaam • Tanzania
And the amazing part of the online version: You not only get to connect with
Mentors from all over the world, but also with over 100,000 fellow entrepreneurs across our continent!
For more information, call +255 759 391 579, visit www.mara-foundation.org Or email tanzania@mara-foundation.org.


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