Game on! Mentoring roulette for youth
An innovative technological approach connects young entrepreneurs with mentors
In 2020, the ITC platform for young entrepreneurs (short Ye! Community) analysed why the network’s members were not taking advantage of the 300+ mentors available in the community.
The result: the young entrepreneurs often did not know how to approach the mentors, nor did they understand how to structure a mentoring relationship.
Shuffling the deck with tech
To help them in finding a mentor who fits, ITC’s youth team called upon technology to create unique mentoring matches. They called the initiative: the Ye! Coffee Roulette.
The concept is simple: use three criteria to link mentors and entrepreneurs for three months, and then shuffle the deck again. Before each upcoming match period, new mentors and mentees can opt in, which expands the initiative consistently and ensures interesting and unique matches.
The underlying software Random-Coffee allows the Ye! Community platform to link mentors with young entrepreneurs, which otherwise may never have happened.
Young entrepreneurs need mentors, but many are too afraid to ask
Seventy per cent of successful entrepreneurs and executives have worked with a mentor at some point in their career. Mentorship is critical to supporting entrepreneurs in gaining perspective and overcoming roadblocks when setting up a business.
For young innovators and entrepreneurs, this support is even more crucial as many lack the experience or knowledge to navigate turbulent times.
However, many young entrepreneurs get cold feet when it comes to contacting a mentor. They are afraid they might be turned down for asking the wrong questions or that the mentor might criticize their business.
The innovative approach of the Ye! Coffee Roulette is designed to overcome these fears and build impactful mentor relationships.
Why Roulette style?
We believe that fostering meaningful engagement between Ye! Community members is essential to the health of the community and the youth it supports. Having an ongoing mentor matching initiative allows Ye! members to connect with international experts, bridging the barriers of time and distance to learn from some of the best experts on how to overcome challenges.
By using the roulette technique, we generate linkages that may not be obvious: consistently reshuffling the deck extends the possibilities for community members to gain new skills, build their network and connect with other members.
The initiative also offers the unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to be matched with another entrepreneur. We strongly believe in the value of peer-mentorship. A mentor does not need to be 40 years older than you; it can be someone at a later stage in their business development cycle.
Finally, we believe that no matter the sector, expertise, or background, there is always the potential to learn and grow.
- Think you might need some help? Be careful what you wish for!
- How mentorship can empower young entrepreneurs: Daaki Joshua’s Ye! Coffee Roulette experience
- Why Should Startups Look at Unsuccessful Entrepreneurs as Business Mentors?
- The Three C's of Mentorship
- The Value of a Mentor
- How Ye! transformed my business and my personal development journey
We are expanding the coffee roulette approach to the 400+ business support organizations in the network. In this Coffee Roulette, hubs around the globe will be paired in groups of three for a month at a time to share best practices and learn from one another. Stay tuned for more updates on this network building initiative later this year.
Interested in joining the Ye! Coffee Roulette initiative? Sign up here for the next round in November 2022.