First Mentor Class graduated

Harare, May 29th. The Women’s  Desk of ZNCC, the chamber of commerce in Zimbabwe, has successfully completed the first year of its Mentor programme, where 28 advanced business women have mentored 28 very skillful talented business women to empower them and to see their businesses grow. Chamber Trade Sweden is a very proud partner to ZNCC and is glad to have empowered their Women’s Desk by delivering CTS Mentorship training.

Women entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe work as hard as the male entrepreneurs if not harder but they fail to scale up their business said Divine Ndhlukula, the initiator and champion of the Mentorship in Practise run by ZNCC, in her opening remarks on the training for the 2015-class of mentors and mentees. Men always mentor each other in various foras; at clubs, golf courses, at work whereas women traditionally have not done this. Weak mothers build weak children and by letting strong business women mentor women we contribute to building strong women that will raise strong children, Divine continued.

This training provided by CTS will help business organisations that want to run Mentorship Programmes as a membership service in developing countries, by training the local project management team in creating a sustainable model for running the programme as well as training the participants in their respective roles. This training has been delivered by Lucia Severed, KKiKK and Malin Dacke from CTS in three steps starting 2014.

The 2014-class celebrated the ending of the successful programme at Rainbow Towers in Harare where heart touching testimonies by both mentors and mentees where given. Mentors say that the mentees are very well educated, performing highly in their professional life. Mentors have been able to help mentees in focusing their business, calculating costs to be able to understand the possibilities to invest and to balance their private and professional lives. Mentees claimed that they were helped tremendously by their mentors in building confidence, focusing at their entrepreneurship and business, in business skills as well as in personal development.
The mentors that all participated in the programme Pro Bono, received plaques and small gifts of recognition whereas the mentees received certificates and where asked to actively include them in their CVs and to consider taking on mentoring themselves, paying it forward.
In the morning the mentors and mentees of the 2015-class met for the first time for a leadership by mentoring training given by Bertha Ndlovu, Westchase Learning Solutions and Malin Dacke. It was an engaged group of business women that participated in the training, very passionate about women empowerment and business. The mentors and mentees had been matched on beforehand by the project management team according to their applications and personal interviews. After a session of goal setting for the mentees the mentors were called back to the room and each of the 22 mentees delivered an absolutely splendid 1-minute pitch. After the pitch the mentor that had been match to the mentee did welcome the mentee to an interactive mentor relationship. After the training was completed codes of conducts were signed by the mentor and the mentee. The couples had lunch together to get to know each other and to schedule their first one-to-one meetings.

The 2015-class was also invited to the Mentor dinner and thereby got even more inspired by the previous class. Having spoken with many of the mentees and mentors we see that several mentor couples have bonded very well and will continue to support and inspire each other. Some of the 2014 mentors will continue as mentors for the 2015 class and I heard of a mentor that now has two daughters, the 2014 mentee and the 2015 mentee.

Congratulations to Divine Ndhlukula, VP ZNCC and CEO and founder of Securico for initiating the programme and to Beatrice Sithole, project manager, and her team for carrying it out in such a professional manner, reaching great impact on society already in the first year of the programme. It is with great confidence and engagement that I will follow both the ZNCC Mentor project management team and the mentors and mentees closely on their on-going journey.

Malin Dacke
Project Manager, CTS