A new beginning for the mentoring network
On 5 December 2019, BusinessMentoring Luxembourg gathered entrepreneurs together for the 10th annual mentoring meeting at the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce. The evening was attended by the Minister for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Tourism, Lex Delles, and guest of honour Stéphanie Jauquet, and was an excellent opportunity to highlight the benefits of mentoring and to announce the next steps of the mentoring network as it officially becomes independent.
The entrepreneurs ready for the 2019 mentoring adventure are in their thirties and are heads of companies mainly in the fields of information and communication technologies (ICT), services, and mass distribution, committed to social, sustainable and environmental development. These entrepreneurs are the 26 mentees from the 2019 class who took time out to pose briefly for a photo. Each and every one of them has good reason to seek support. Some to improve the decision-making process, others to acquire the right entrepreneurial reflexes and avoid pitfalls during the startup phase. Still others, to better understand the growth or takeover of their company.
In total, no fewer than 175 entrepreneurs have been mentored since the BusinessMentoring Luxembourg programme was launched in 2010. According to a survey conducted at the end of their mentoring relationship, 80% of mentees report strong progress in behavioural skills (the ability to develop entrepreneurial skills according to the motto, ‘one is not born an entrepreneur, but becomes one’), and also in the decision-making process (the ability to make decisions quickly). The effectiveness of mentoring is no longer a concept to question – the survival rate for the companies of mentees who have received support is around 80%.
The evening was also an opportunity to hear Stéphanie Jauquet, who is now head of several establishments, including the restaurants, ‘Um Plateau’, ‘Tempo’, and the catering chain, ‘Cocottes’. Stéphanie Jauquet once told her family that she would one day have her own restaurant and has since won that challenge! A passionate and determined business leader, she is also a superb example of talent, creativity, and passion for constant renewal and seeking new concepts. She has even claimed for herself the Walt Disney maxim, ‘if you can dream it, you can do it’.
The network currently composed of 50 volunteer mentors has been consolidated and is now taking off on its own as an independent entity and non-profit organisation (association sans but lucrative, ASBL), BusinessMentoring at the House of Entrepreneurship, a step welcomed by Claude Faber, president of the steering committee of BusinessMentoring Luxembourg, as he announced the news. He also added, ‘the agreement with the Chamber of Commerce will allow a strong convergence of objectives and maximum continuity of cooperation, particularly with the House of Entrepreneurship, in order to strengthen the programme on a new and high-quality basis. The Board of Directors has just decided on the strategic focus’.
The initiative was also welcomed by Carlo Thelen, Director General of the Chamber of Commerce, who is delighted to be able to continue working closely with this network, particularly in terms of human follow-up and mentor-mentee matching, which will be provided by teams from the Chamber of Commerce group. Carlo Thelen also recalled the Chamber of Commerce's efforts in the field of entrepreneurial initiatives.
To better respond to the needs of established entrepreneurs, Carlo Thelen also announced the consolidation of the initiative dedicated to the managers of established companies currently offered by the House of Entrepreneurship. As a 360-degree support programme, it will allow for entrepreneurs to have support from the very beginning, with access to training, individual coaching, personalised advice, and mediation.
To be able to participate in the programme and apply online, the mentee must have a business plan, a cover letter, and be able to demonstrate that his or her company has development potential. A selection committee will then be able to assign him or her a mentor based on needs and affinities.
Visit the websites of the Chamber of Commerce (www.cc.lu) and the House of Entrepreneurship (www.houseofentrepreneurship.lu) or businessmentoring (www.businessmentoring.lu) to follow the latest news on mentoring and other support programmes.