Mentors can give a business the support it needs while an entrepreneur works to reach new customers and grow. Many startup founders have learned that by working with a mentor, they enjoy a collaboration through which they can learn and grow. They usually also gain access to a much more experienced entrepreneur's extensive network, which can help as they seek funding or gather resources. For students, mentors can provide the insight they need as they make decisions about their future.
One of the biggest problems entrepreneurs and students have, however, is finding a good mentor when their professional networks are limited. Fortunately, technology has come up with an answer. Here are nine great platforms helping to connect mentors and mentees in 2016.
Personally endorsed by Google Founder Sergei Brin, Envelop is an innovative audio platform transforming the way consumers enjoy music. Led by renowned musician and educator Christopher Willits, Envelop provides educational resources and mentorship for performers and listeners alike. Workshops are led by media innovators such as Bob Pittman, founder of MTV.
Mogul, a worldwide platform reaching 18 million women per week, provides personalized mentorship in the form of a 24/7 digital advice hotline. One email can connect female entrepreneurs with experts like the former chairman of Hearst Magazines and Miss New York. Advice is available on a wide range of topics, from career and higher education guidance to beauty and fitness tips. In addition to mentorship, members gain access to ten award-winning courses for comprehensive skill building.
This student-geared mentorship program encourages public high school students in the US to choose their own mentors. iCouldBe operates through classrooms across the country, where schools allow students to dedicate one class per week toward mentorship activities that promote academic success, career exploration, and post-secondary educational planning.
Another student-focused program, iMentor empowers students from low-income communities to graduate high school and succeed in college. Through iMentor, students meet with mentors one on one, either online or in person. The end result is a strong connection that encourages students to pursue their dreams. In New York City, iMentor partners with public schools to ensure every student receives a mentor.
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) play a crucial role in the future of the US economy. MentorNet envisions a diverse 21st-century workforce in which citizens across all demographics contribute to innovation and live in prosperity as a result. MentorNet reaches out to STEM students through a vibrant community that is committed to student success.
Based in the UK, Horse's Mouth is a social network for informal mentoring where everyone is welcome to participate. The free service encourages participants to post requests for mentors, which other members can browse and take action on if they're interested. The platform aims to create a social media-like environment where participants feel comfortable sharing and receiving wisdom from others in their field.
Find a Mentor
This free self-service tool matches mentees with adult mentors in an effort to promote continuing education. Find a Mentor has more than 1,500 categories including leadership, success, career, and communications coaching. In addition to one-on-one mentorships, members can also build a mastermind group to brainstorm and learn from peers.
SCORE specializes in helping small businesses, providing a variety of tools that include workshops and document templates. One of its biggest benefits is its volunteer mentor network, which attracts a large number of highly-qualified volunteers due to the organization's backing by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Mentors are available in 62 different industries, ensuring mentees can find the partners they need to succeed.
This cloud-based mentor-matching service provides mentors for entrepreneurs, students, and nonprofit organizations. The service includes a free online registry for mentors who are interested in finding entrepreneurs and students that they can help. Mentees can also use the registry to find the perfect mentor to meet their needs. One thing that sets MentorCity apart is that it provides matches based on skills, industry, job function, experience, gender, location, and language.
Mentors can give professionals and students the inspiration and advice they need to succeed. With technology making it so easy to connect with a great mentor, coaching and advice are just a click away. These mentorship opportunities are just a sampling of what's available for people who want to find the career guidance they've been looking for.