I am starting up a business and would like to get the assistance of a mentor. However, it seems that every programme I investigate simply costs a fortune. While I understand the need to charge for services (since this is the business I am in) it becomes very difficult to fund a start-up AND pay a mentorship fee. Please assist?
Good question and a real conundrum. In South Africa in particular, great strides have been made in start-up and small business support – at least from an activity perspective.
There are a wide range of service providers currently offering a variety of support services to start-up and existing small enterprises. One proviso in this regard however, is that given South Africa’s apartheid legacy, the majority of this support is geared toward black-owned enterprises.
Given your expressed frustration, though, I can only assume that this is not the case for you and your business.
In this instance, I would instead advise you to take a careful look around your social and business networks, where you are sure to know someone who runs their own business. One thing I do know about small business owners, having been one myself, is that they love to share from their experiences, and tell their stories. In fact, most of the time small business owners don’t even need an invitation to do so. Ask anyone married to one!
My advice would be to plug your own networks in search of a mentor or free ‘over a cup of coffee’ advice on a monthly basis.
In case you’re still stuck, consider the following four service providers for mentorship support to business owners.
The Hope Factory.