Mentorship Accelerates Small Business Growth

BC’s first free online mentorship resource for entrepreneurs launched earlier this month. MentorshipBC provides access to the wealth of mentor programs available across the province for small business owners.

While mentorship has long been touted as one of the most valuable activities to help entrepreneurs reach their goals, the impact on business in BC was not clear until now. MentorshipBC’s new province-wide study identifies significant benefits gained through mentorship for entrepreneurs.

Small business owners greatly value mentorship and reap significant benefits, according to the MentorshipBC Small Business Survey:

  • 69% said their business grew;
  • 78% achieved their professional goals;
  • 86% said they grew as an entrepreneur;
  • and 91% said they grew personally.

With entrepreneurs discovering such rewards from mentorship, it makes sense that 74% reported to be satisfied or very satisfied with their mentor experience, and that more than half (56%) had a mentor relationship that lasted three to 10 years or longer.

The benefits are rich for entrepreneurs, who in turn build stronger businesses and create additional jobs. Research from Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie de la Rive-Sud in Quebec finds that 75% of small businesses with mentors succeeded in attaining the five-year mark (only 34% of businesses succeed in doing likewise without mentoring).

BC entrepreneurs like Lori Joyce and Heather White of the Cupcakes franchise are examples of business owners who have surpassed the 5 year mark and benefited both personally and professionally from their mentorship.

When Heather and Lori opened their first Cupcakes location in 2002 in Vancouver’s West End, they had no baking background or business plan. They learned quickly the value of mentorship and the fundamental role it would play in the success of their business. The two persistent young entrepreneurs faced no shortage of challenges, from expansion difficulties to juggling their growing families and business empire. Through it all, their salvation came from the advice and support of a network of mentors, who were willing to offer input and solutions.

Ultimately, the Cupcakes girls attribute their franchising growth and business success to the advice and guidance they received from their mentors.

“My mentors were a phone call away any time I faced a franchise challenge that I need some advice on,” Lori explains.

While the “Cupcakes girls” were successful in finding mentors, it isn’t always easy. More than 80% of BC small business owners are not confident that they are aware of available mentor programs, our survey finds. MentorshipBC bridges this gap, linking entrepreneurs to the many mentor programs available in BC. Using a simple search tool, small business owners can find mentor programs that best suit their needs.

Our province has the most small businesses per capita in the country. By linking more small businesses to mentor resources, MentorshipBC seeks to fuel the growth of individuals, businesses and ultimately, our provincial economy.