A Successful Mentoring Programme Development and Implementation – BIC Africa Ethiopia Boot Camp

A Successful Mentoring Programme Development and Implementation – BIC Africa Ethiopia Boot Camp

We are extremely excited to announce the successful completion of the BIC Africa Ethiopia boot camp held on the 19th and 20th of Sep 2023 in Bishoftu, Ethiopia.  

This national boot camp, organised in collaboration with the BIC Ethiopia country project, focused on the theme of mentorship and mentoring startups, a key topic for business incubators in Ethiopia, with the main aim of producing a collaborative and innovative “Guidebook on how to mentor startups” tailored to the local ecosystem, which will be shared with  Business Incubators (Bis) in Ethiopia as a reference and living document.   

Mentorship plays a crucial role in the success of entrepreneurs by developing their entrepreneurial, business and leadership skills. Therefore, it is important for business incubators to be able to design and implement successful mentoring programmes. The Ethiopia boot camp – through well-curated training, was designed to provide selected Ethiopian business incubators a head start and to overcome the challenges they are facing related to the mentoring of entrepreneurs and startups.  

On the first day of the boot camp, participants presented themselves and the challenges they faced, set a common conceptual framework, explored new ideas, and discussed the local ecosystem to develop the guidebook. Then together with the facilitators, the participants analysed the initial mentoring canvas model resonating with the Ethiopian ecosystem. Finally, they discussed how to set up a mentoring programme, covering the entire process, including how to source mentors, identifying mentees (entrepreneurs) and the financial requirements for running a mentoring programme.  

On the second and final day, the participants delved into the practical steps to implement a matching process between mentors and mentees, including establishing the mentorship relationship, setting the rules of engagement, and ensuring win-win outcomes exercised through role play with the facilitators. Moreover, an in-depth presentation and Q&A session were held on how to effectively design, communicate, implement, design a monitoring system, and assess the outcome of the mentoring programme to ensure a transformative mentoring programme for the entrepreneurs (mentees), while ensuring convenience for all involved parties in the mentoring programme. Finally, the experts and the participants looked at the adapted dynamic mentoring canvas for short – and long-term mentoring processes based on the input from the first day.  

In this national boot camp, BIC Africa brought together 11 participants – representing 4 Business Incubators participating in the Ethiopia country project, 3 startups from these BIs and the Ethiopian Association of Startup Ecosystem (EASE).  The participants had the opportunity to re-connect, engage in open discussions and teamwork, and exchange knowledge and experience among themselves as well as with the expert facilitators, the BIC Africa and BIC Ethiopia project team members.  

The Ethiopia boot camp was organised by the BIC Africa project team with the support of the BIC Ethiopia team and facilitated by experts from the EU|BIC community, Douglas Thompson from SPI, Arnaud Catinot from ESTIA and Axel Wion from VVA. We extend our sincere gratitude to all participants for their commitment and for sharing their innovative ideas. We appreciate the support of the expert facilitators and the BIC Ethiopia team for their crucial role in ensuring the boot camp’s resounding success.  

The boot camp facilitated networking opportunities for the local ecosystem especially with key players like EASE, to create synergies and further collaborate. 

The BIC Africa Ethiopia boot camp was part of the national boot camps designed specifically to meet the country’s context and country project activities. BIC Africa will organise a boot camp for all 5 country projects, the first edition of which will be held in October 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya.  

The boot camp was made possible through a partnership between the European Union and EBN.  

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