Mentoring doesn’t just help young professionals gain the experience and wisdom they need in the workforce, it can also increase the likelihood of small business success.
That’s according to a new survey from SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors. The data shows that mentored businesses were 12% more likely to remain in business after one year, compared to the national average. This supports existing research that shows entrepreneurs with access to a mentor are five times more likely to start a business than those who do not have a mentor.
Working with a mentor at least five times greatly increases an entrepreneur’s likelihood of business success.
- 30% of business owners (both men and women) who had just one interaction with a mentor reported business growth, a number that increased with subsequent interactions and peaked at 43% of business owners who had five or more mentoring interactions reporting growth.
Women entrepreneurs experience success when they are expertly mentored, regardless of their mentor’s gender.
- Women entrepreneurs were just as happy and successful working with mentors of either gender. What mattered to entrepreneurs (of both genders) was a mentor’s helpfulness, respectfulness, listening skills and open-mindedness, accurate assessment of a client’s business situation, and ability to provide relevant advice.
The top three issues entrepreneurs asked their mentors for help with were:
- Human resource issues (61%)
- Growth/business expansion (59%)
- Start-up assistance (53%)
View the The Megaphone of Main Street: Report on Women’s Entrepreneurship and this infographic on mentoring and business success.
“This data confirms what SCORE has learned over 54 years of helping 11 million entrepreneurs to start or grow their businesses – that mentoring has a significant, positive impact on small business success rates,” said SCORE CEO Ken Yancey. “We were surprised to find that there was no statistically-significant difference in our clients’ satisfaction rates according to whether an entrepreneur worked with a mentor of the same gender. Above all else, our small business owner clients want a mentor who listens to them, and who accurately assesses their particular business situation. They want a mentor who is helpful and who provides relevant advice in a respectful manner. SCORE’s 10,000 experienced mentors are happy to volunteer their time doing just that.”