COVID-19 has struck a devastating blow to small businesses, and we have heard many stories of the incredible hardships faced in every corner of the world. At the same time, we have found hope and inspiration in stories of courage, resiliency, and strength from our community. Mentoring has proven again and again to be a vital resource in the face of economic hardship.
Here are 3 entrepreneurs from around the world who have been using the pandemic to launch, pivot, and grow their businesses:
Shannon (The Bahamas)
Bahamian entrepreneur Shannon was struggling in the wake of Hurricane Dorian, only to be hit again by the economic downturn of COVID-19. After hearing about Mercy Corps’ RISE Initiative and MicroMentor on a local radio station, Shannon joined and connected with mentor JP Michielsen. JP had an idea to help Shannon’s business: launch a COVID-specific deep cleaning and disinfection service.
With JP’s support, Shannon has successfully grown Neucco Solutions into one of the most modern and technologically advanced cleaning businesses on Grand Bahama, securing contracts with resorts, yachts, the shipyard, and small offices. “I cannot begin to totally summarize how the assistance of my mentor has aided me in building this new business, from advice on marketing and insurance to help with my logo and pricing tips. I am certain that without the help of my mentor my idea would have still been just that.”
After finishing her degree in May 2020, American entrepreneur Katherine knew that she wanted to take advantage of the time provided by quarantine to launch a holistic health coaching business to support women and young people navigating Lyme disease. Armed with a rough plan for her business, Katherine joined MicroMentor and connected with Singapore-based mentor Eric Jude.
The pair bonded over a shared prioritization of creating meaning in business. Eric provided Katherine structure and accountability, and guided her through the process of identifying her target market, brand, client funnel, and service packaging. With Eric’s guidance in her toolkit, Katherine has started working with her first client and hopes to continue building more mentoring relationships to help her business flourish: “The biggest value is having a relationship where there are no unrealistic or unfair expectations…[my mentors] genuinely want to give back.”
Sakher, a young Jordan-based entrepreneur, decided to turn his passion for game development into a successful business. While developing his game, Earth Rage, Sakher recognized his lack of experience in business planning, development, and marketing and joined MicroMentor in 2019 to find a mentor who could provide advice.
When the pandemic shut down Amman and cities around the world, Sakher made use of his quarantine time to work on building his business and launching his game. He connected with more than 20 expert mentors on MicroMentor who have helped him gain the professional skills he needs to continue growing his business.