Interactive resources for incubators and accelerators
Interactive resources for incubators and accelerators
Interactive resources for incubators and accelerators


Mentors can play a critical role in supporting enterprises to grow and scale their enterprise beyond the support that intermediaries provide via their accelerator/incubator program. Mentors are often successful entrepreneurs themselves and have walked the journey of the enterprises that the intermediary is supporting and bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to support entrepreneurs.


    Power dynamics can exist between the mentor and entrepreneur relationship especially when their gender differs, due to cultural and societal norms.


    For example, a successful male mentor may not deeply understand the issues faced by a female entrepreneur in an emerging market and therefore may not be able to provide the most effective strategies.


    A strong mentorship program to support entrepreneurs of all genders.


    Example measurement indicators and collection methods can be found here.

Why it matters

Mentors can provide deep, long-term support to help enterprises succeed.


What is the cultural/societal norm of having a mentor and mentee relationship between people of different genders?

What is the individual entrepreneur’s needs with respect to a mentor? 

How do we attract mentors of different genders?

How can we educate our current mentor pool in applying a gender lens to how they mentor and coach entrepreneurs?


  • 1.

    Develop an in-depth understanding of the entrepreneur’s needs and their perception of working with different genders. E.g. if the entrepreneur has experienced trauma, this may need to be considered when matching them with a mentor.

  • 2.

    Ensure that the mentor pool is gender diverse to reflect the various needs of the entrepreneur and bring rich and varied expertise.

  • 3.

    Provide training to Mentors to ensure that they understand the needs of their mentees and how different genders may need modified mentoring due to cultural/religious/personal needs.

  • 4.

    Create a Code of conduct for full transparency and accountability for both parties.

  • 5.

    Develop clear policies articulating what is and what is not acceptable in a mentor/mentee relationship.