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Happy National Mentoring Day!

The landscape of business today is constantly changing and increasing in complexity. Innovation is critical to success, and a combination of skills is the key. Having a mentor to help manoeuvre through the business landscape; someone who has more experience, who guides a less experienced person by building trust and modelling and inspiring positive behaviours. A mentor essentially helps their mentee be accountable for their vision, their goals and plans. An exceptional mentor can help a fledgling entrepreneur think through effective strategies, crunch numbers and create realistic business plans. However, mentorship is not only beneficial to the mentee but also to the mentor. The time spent pushing another person towards being the best possible version of themselves develops one’s leadership and management skills.

The need for mentorship in Lesotho

Lesotho is a low- income, land locked country in Africa where the rate of poverty stands at almost 50%. This calls for an urgent need for the youth to venture into entrepreneurship in order to survive. Yet most start-ups in Lesotho fail due to lack of access to business support services. There are no formal leadership development programs and there is an existing generational gap between experienced and less experienced people in workforces. Therefore, there is a need to ensure that professionals are equipped and future- ready. Krynauw Nel, an architect in South Africa, who virtually mentors a young entrepreneur in Lesotho, when asked about the potential impact of mentorship on Lesotho’s economy stated “the biggest issue for a small enclave like Lesotho is exposure to wider practices. We forget that not everyone has access to the same exposure we have even in South Africa if not to the world at large.  Widening the horizons for locals and increasing their networks can make a massive impact. I find a total hunger for that. When that exposure is supported by a compassionate mentor, it can make a huge difference to at least one individual.” Tshepang Thabane, Krynauw’s mentee and graduate from in loco 2018 cohort  also stated that “Lesotho needs to invest heavily in mentorship programs and platforms in order to tackle the high unemployment rate as they help turn lofty goals into tangible goals.”

In this day and age where the 4th industrial revolution has almost taken over, mentorship programs have proven to be game changers and what’s more, they can be done remotely. This is all the more important as we navigate through a global pandemic. 

rise mentorship program

In 2018, we launched a ground breaking fellowship program, a practical ‘learning by doing’ live design, build and entrepreneurship training program called in loco. The fellows receive business and entrepreneurial training as well as an introduction to professional networks, access to market and employment opportunities. in loco fellows practice the principles of entrepreneurship and social impact while receiving hands-on training in community designed infrastructure projects. At the end of each cohort the fellows are given the opportunity to select a mentor from everyone they would have interacted with during the fellowship, we then facilitate a mentor-mentee relationship benefiting both parties.

Celebrate National Mentoring Day with us

We are working on designing and building Lesotho’s first Enterprise Hub for start- ups in the country’s capital of Maseru as part of our rise in the city 2020 campaign. This Hub is a key component to building Lesotho’s entrepreneurship ecosystem to fight against poverty in the country. The wheels of our campaign are the creation and facilitation of a mentorship program that will award start-up architects in Lesotho the platform to be mentored by successful international architects who continue to sign up to our campaign. Watch this brief 2 minute video that explains how it works and help spread the word!

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