The Support You Need: Resources for Professional Guidance and Mentorship

Published: Feb 17, 2015
Last Updated: Sep 2, 2016

Your business is a long-term commitment, with frequent surprises and questions along the way. Whether you're just starting out, in the early years of your business, or facing a major change, you'll need the support and guidance of someone who's been there. Use the resources here to find the right mentor for you.

Featured mentorship programs:

»Aboriginal Business Mentorship Program (Canada)

  • What it is: Part of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, the Mentorship Program "helps Aboriginal business persons gain the knowledge, insight and expertise critical to taking their busi
  • ness to the next level." Work one-on-one with a mentor, in person or virtually, to gain personalized business advice. Registration rates for individual entrepreneurs and organizations are available.
  • Why you'll love it: The help of a mentor will allow you to identify and meet your business goals. You'll get individual, personalized support, and you'll also build your network more efficiently than you might without a mentor. As an established business person, you can apply to be a mentor yourself and share your knowledge with new business owners.

»Women's Enterprise Centre: Professional Guidance (BC)

  • What it is: The Women's Enterprise Centre has nearly twenty years' experience supporting businesswomen in British Columbia. Focusing on the unique needs of women entrepreneurs, they've compiled an extensive resource library and network of support services.
  • Why you'll love it: The Professional Guidance services are built according to the business lifecycle. Whether you're starting, growing, or exiting your business, the Women's Enterprise Centre will help you find the right information at the right time. You can further tailor the service by contacting the Centre directly, under the Ask an Advisor heading. Learn about specific topics through the Mentor Advisory Forums and enroll in the four-part Mentoring Program for personal and group support.

»BCIC Mentor Program (BC)

  • What it is: The BCIC Mentor Program was developed by the British Columbia Innovation Council and ACETECH. It's designed to increase the success of technology companies in British Columbia. The program launched in Vancouver and Kelowna in 2011, expanded to Victoria, and plans to serve the entire province.
  • Why you'll love it: The program is modelled on the highly successful mentorship experiences of MIT. Early-stage technology entrepreneurs will benefit from the mentorship of a personally matched, two-person team. An initial program update revealed that participants so far have experienced increased confidence thanks to the expertise and integrity of their mentors. As of June 2013, over 135 ventures have received guidance from 78 mentors.

»e@UBC Mentor Network (UBC Affiliated)

  • What it is: The entrepreneurship@UBC (or e@UBC) Mentor Network "provides access to experienced, seasoned business leaders who provide guidance and accountability through critical growth and development phases" to UBC students, alumni, faculty, and staff.
  • Why you'll love it: The program has four different mentorship models: Entrepreneur in Residence, Mentorship, Company Advisors, and Professional Service Advisors. Each provides a unique guidance model to help entrepreneurs with the particulars challenges they will face at various stages in the development of their business. Leaders in the business community are encouraged to participate as mentors.

For more resources in your area, visit SBA's Business Support Directory.