Advice from MicroMentor Mexico’s Mentors and Entrepreneurs of the Year

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“No matter what experience the entrepreneur has, he or she should seek out a mentor to get a different perspective and learn how they have fought to accomplish their goals.  A mentor can give a more realistic image of what it means to be an entrepreneur and start a business. If it weren’t for MicroMentor and my mentor Luis, I would have abandoned my idea.”

— Miryam Téllez, 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year Award, MicroMentor Mexico

 

 

 

In an inspiring ceremony on March 9, 2017, MicroMentor Mexico honored outstanding mentors and entrepreneurs, who connected through the MicroMentor platform. The event, which celebrated three years of Latin American operations in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank, recognized the top entrepreneur, mentor, mentoring relationship and strategic partnership that emerged over the previous year.

In addition to celebrating individual accomplishments, the 2013-2017 Latin America Impact Report was shared with the audience of partners, participants and friends of the MicroMentor Mexico community.

 

MicroMentor Latin America Outcomeslat-am-impact
Small businesses in Latin America employ 67 percent of the workforce, yet studies show that only 90 percent of these small businesses fail within the first two years. This may be, in part, due to lack of business resources, as 70 percent of mentored entrepreneurs in Latin America reported that they did not have access to business resources outside of MicroMentor.

The results of the report showed that over the course of three years, 2,852 mentoring connections were made in 20 Latin American countries via the MicroMentor platform and 20 live speed mentoring events.  Of the 2,898 entrepreneurs reached, 70 percent were under the age of 40, 41 percent were female, and 51 percent were in the startup phase of their businesses.

As the graphic suggests, entrepreneurs who connected on MicroMentor were more likely to create successful businesses, leading to the creation of more jobs, better business practices and stronger local economies.

 

Advice from the Winners
The winners of the mentor and entrepreneur awards gave testimonies during the event that helped to put a human touch on the remarkable facts and figures presented in impact report.  They also offered helpful advice to other entrepreneurs and mentors on the platform.

Motivation for Joining MicroMentor

Advice to Others on the Platform

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Miryam Téllez

 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year

Co-founder of “Cree Tú,” an event planning business.

My sister and I have educational backgrounds unrelated to business. We had an idea to start our event planning business but didn’t know how to write a business plan, conduct a market study, or form a strategic plan.  Our mentor, Luis, asked precise questions that helped us put our ideas on paper in a more concrete way.  Now we know where we are at, where we want to go and how to get there. People should try mentoring.  No matter what experience the entrepreneur has, he or she should seek out a mentor to get a different perspective and learn how they have fought to accomplish their goals.  A mentor can give a more realistic image of what it means to be an entrepreneur and start a business. If it weren’t for MicroMentor and my mentor Luis, I would have abandoned my idea.

 

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Luis Heimpel  

2016 Mentor of the Year

Expert in IT, business startup, management, administration, marketing and decision making.

 

I want to give back by using the experience I have gained along the way and knowledge I’ve accumulated through starting by own business.  I feel that there is little help for entrepreneurs in the startup stage and I like identifying strengths and weaknesses of a startup as well as building out a competitive analysis of the business idea. My advice to mentors on the platform is to be an expert in your area and focus your mentoring efforts on your expertise.  Be honest about your experience and how you think you can help the entrepreneur – after all mentoring is a matter of sharing experiences.  Lastly, follow up in a timely manner.  Why not give help to the best of your ability?!
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Guillermo Torres  

2016 Mentoring Relationship of the Year (Entrepreneur)

Founder of “Profesionalia,” an online marketplace of professional services and freelance work sourced from within Mexico.

I needed help in marketing my idea, but first I needed to define exactly what my business proposition was because it was difficult to explain before I met my mentor, Claudia.  With Claudia I was able to form my business strategy and define my competitive advantage. My advice to entrepreneurs on the platform is first, know clearly where you need help.  Define your product and service in a real way to be more productive.  Secondly, plan your meetings around your mentor’s availability and take advantage of this time.  I recommend holding meetings once a week.  Have your concise and thoughtful questions ready for each meeting.
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Claudia León  

2016 Mentoring Relationship of the Year (Mentor)

Expert in sales, digital marketing, mobile content and services.

I have always loved teaching business planning classes outside of my regular work hours.  If entrepreneurs and experiences business professionals work together, we can achieve so much more.  MicroMentor is an easy way to leverage the talent of my country and help develop this talent in a way that generates successful outcomes.  Finally, being an entrepreneur is difficult because one person can’t know everything.  It takes a lot of time, effort and money to start a business and I’m empathetic to the fact that entrepreneurs could always use more resources. If you are an entrepreneur looking for a mentor on MicroMentor, first in your profile, describe exactly how a mentor can help you.  Second, make sure that your idea is viable and grounded.  Lastly, mentoring is a commitment, so value the time that your mentor gives.

Jose Smeke, a serial entrepreneur from Mexico City and mentor on MicroMentor closed the event with an inspirational statement recounting the potential of mentoring in Latin America and beyond.

“MicroMentor has achieved the creation of an incredible network of mentors of the highest quality and has been able to show that if we donate our time as mentors to orient the next generation, there may be the chance to work with the next Airbnb, Instagram or Facebook.  To me, this opportunity fills me with excitement, and for this reason I am always looking to give the best of myself so that these entrepreneurs can truly find answers that they are seeking in this challenging and sometimes frustrating world of entrepreneurship.”