Case Study: Business Mentor NY

Creating a Successful Statewide Mentoring Program

1,000
Mentoring Connections
86%
Revenue Increase
3 New Jobs
Per Connection

MicroMentor specializes in supporting entrepreneurs across the globe through a central, online mentoring platform and unparalleled expertise in meeting the needs of the small business community. As a leader in our field, we partner with forward thinking government organizations, corporations, and nonprofits to help them build powerful mentoring programs that align with the needs of their unique audience and make a meaningful impact.

Learn about our recent partnership with New York State's chief economic development agency, Empire State Development and how together, we've built the first statewide mentoring program of its kind in the U.S.

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"Helping small business owners overcome obstacles and achieve greater success will in turn strengthen local economies and spur job creation."

Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York

Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York

Supporting New York State's Small Business Community

Business Mentor NY is a statewide mentoring initiative designed to help entrepreneurs across New York State find the critical support they need to start and grow successful businesses. MicroMentor helped Empire State Development (ESD) build and implement the custom technology and programmatic strategy needed to make Business Mentor NY a success—engaging thousands of entrepreneurs and mentors statewide and driving considerable growth across New York State's small business community.
"The MicroMentor team helped us think critically, at every step, about what we needed to make a mentoring initiative take hold and be successful. From its initial pilot phase to its availability statewide, MicroMentor has continued to act as our partner in making Business Mentor NY a success."
Steve Cohen
Deputy Commissioner
Empire State Development

Tactics:

  • Online mentoring platform
  • Comprehensive programmatic strategy
  • Ongoing partnership and support

Impacting Entrepreneurs Statewide

By providing small businesses and start-ups with access to seasoned business professionals, Business Mentor NY is driving continued economic growth in New York State.

"BusinessMentor.NY.gov is a remarkable platform. The idea of browsing through hundreds of entrepreneurs is exciting—to see so many hopes and dreams all at my fingertips. I saw so many businesses that I wanted to help, from a furniture refinishing business to a regional heating and cooling supplier."

Allen Kadish, President, Turnaround Management Association (TMA)

Allen Kadish, President, Turnaround Management Association (TMA)

Meeting the Unique Needs of New York State

Working with ESD staff and key stakeholders across New York State, MicroMentor's staff and development team identified what technological requirements were needed to leverage the state's existing, on-the-ground small business resources, while making it even easier for entrepreneurs statewide to gain access to support.

By listening to and designing the platform for these key stakeholders at every step of the way, MicroMentor created features that complemented and added significant value to the state's existing processes.

Platform Customizations

  • Custom branded portal to match statewide branding requirements
  • Facilitated matching
    • Allowed staff from the state's Small Business Development Centers and Entrepreneur Assistance Program to assist clients in finding the right mentor and maximizing their mentoring relationship
  • Expanded reporting capabilities to enable ESD to meet their state funding requirements

Developing a Comprehensive Program Strategy

MicroMentor shared their insights and best practices for engaging mentors effectively, conducting successful trainings, crafting newsletters and other tools required for building relationships and creating ongoing success. By acting as their mentor in building the Business Mentor NY program, MicroMentor helped Empire State Development staff map out a clear path forward.

Tactics Included

  • Long-term communication strategy
  • Launch event planning and panel coordination
  • Training curriculum for partner organizations and community members
  • Mentor recruitment and coordination efforts
  • Ongoing weekly support

Entrepreneur Success Story:

Susan Boose
The Olive Branch Soap Company
Based in the Bronx, Susan was encouraged to join Business Mentor NY by her local EAP center. Operating as The Olive Branch Soap Company, Susan had developed a line of organic soaps and skincare products, but she needed help developing a concrete marketing plan. Through the platform, she was matched with Jacob Smith, a seasoned executive with 15+ years of experience in management, growth and development. Jacob helped Susan build an effective marketing strategy and through his connections, helped her start a conversation with the procurement department at the Bellagio Hotel chain. After trying out Susan's soaps, the Bellagio Hotel decided to become an ongoing customer—propelling her sales and business forward.

Testimonials

"Selecting MicroMentor as a partner was a great decision, as they not only provided technical expertise—they also provided the programmatic support that we needed to make the program a success. I can't imagine another service provider who would have the depth of knowledge of what the small business community needs. They've been a great mentor to us and a fantastic sounding board."
Ben Howard-Cooper
Project Associate
Empire State Development
"The web-based portal that MicroMentor designed for Business Mentor NY helped streamline our partnership with Empire State Development, making it easier for our members to connect with struggling entrepreneurs and make a meaningful impact."
Jeffrey Gaynor
Director/Chair Pro Bono
Turnaround Management Association
New York Chapter
"Business Mentor NY is a fantastic new service for the small business community and we are excited to be a part of it. The SBDC is dedicated to helping small businesses thrive, and providing access and guidance to this program allows us to bring a high level of support to business owners."
Brian Goldstein
Director of Operations
Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
"ESD had a limited team of four people working on this effort, but because of MicroMentor's technology, we didn't have to devote any of our staff resources into manually facilitating mentoring. Our team has been able to spend 100% of their time on outreach and helping mentors and entrepreneurs make the most of the system."
Rachael Dubin
Director of Community Economic
Development Programs

Empire State Development
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Interested in launching your own mentoring program?

Find out how MicroMentor can help you drive your efforts forward.
Contact Anita Ramachandran, MicroMentor's Senior Partnership Development Officer at 503.896.5721 or anita@micromentor.org