PORTLAND, Ore., Jan. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- MicroMentor, Mercy Corps' proprietary online mentoring platform that connects entrepreneurs with experienced professionals to build small businesses, reached a new milestone: generating more than 5,000 relationships for mentors and mentees. To celebrate this achievement, MicroMentor is issuing a national call to create 1,500 more mentor/mentee relationships by National Small Business Week, May 12-16, and accelerate entrepreneurial growth across the U.S.
The movement is already receiving support from other foundations and corporations, including The Sam's Club Giving Program.
"Small business owners are a powerful force for economic growth. Serving millions of small businesses in our clubs every day, we are committed to empowering their growth and dreams, and collaborating with like-minded organizations that save small business owners' time, money and energy," said Catherine Corley, vice president of member services at Sam's Club.
"The Sam's Club Giving Program is excited to support MicroMentor's innovative digital platform that more easily connects small business owners to experienced mentors, which will strengthen small business growth opportunities and build stronger local economies."
MicroMentor provides aspiring entrepreneurs access to a pool of committed professional mentors via a free, easy-to-use platform on micromentor.org. Through a smart design and intelligent matching engine, MicroMentor matches mentors with entrepreneurs based on industry, expertise and location, ensuring that mentors can give direct support around mentees' most pressing issues.
"MicroMentor is thrilled that so many business mentors are volunteering their time, passion and expertise to fuel the aspirations of promising entrepreneurs," said Samantha Albery, Director of MicroMentor. "We want to increase this momentum by rallying more mentors today through National Small Business Week to help hundreds more entrepreneurs turns their business dreams into realities. This rally call is part of a larger goal," Albery continued, "to reach another 5,000 relationships by January 2015."
Mentoring Drives Small Business Revenue
Entrepreneurs who use MicroMentor reap the benefits of mentoring, growing their businesses every year; in 2012 alone, entrepreneurs who connected with a mentor, averaged 106 percent revenue growth. Businesses mentored through MicroMentor have an 82 percent survival rate, and half create a new job within a year, according to MicroMentor's latest business outcomes survey.*
Thriving entrepreneurs often cite mentoring as a critical component of their success. "Mentoring works! My mentor, Bill, knows my business and my greater vision. I can bounce ideas and strategize with Bill and he keeps me on track," said entrepreneur Teresa Nicola about her MicroMentor experience. "I am so grateful that he is spending time – unpaid – to help me with my business." Nicola's business, Collected Spaces, has seen a 10 percent increase in sales each month since she and her mentor were matched on MicroMentor.
Join the Rally Call
Business mentors, organizations and entrepreneurs are invited to join MicroMentor's rally call at www.micromentor.org.
MicroMentor, Mercy Corps' proprietary online mentoring platform, turns business possibilities into reality. Through relationships with major companies and organizations such as Sam's Club, Hewlett Packard, Entrepreneur Organization and Ashoka Changemakers, MicroMentor helps entrepreneurs work with experienced professionals to build their businesses. MicroMentor helps small businesses grow faster, generate more revenue and employ more people via access to mentoring.
About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is a leading global humanitarian agency saving and improving lives in the world's toughest places. In more than 40 countries, we partner with local people to put bold ideas into action, helping them conquer adversity, and build stronger communities. Driven by local needs, our programs provide communities in the world's toughest places with the tools and support they need to transform their own lives.
*MicroMentor's business outcomes survey was conducted in June 2013, surveying those matched on MicroMentor between July 2011 and June 2012.