About the Challenge
The rate of female entrepreneurship in Latin America and the Caribbean is much higher than in other parts of the developing world. However, women entrepreneurs in the region continue to face difficulties in accessing funding, training, networking, and mentoring.
Mentoring can help women entrepreneurs define their ideas and carry them out, whether in developing their initial business plans or keeping their businesses growing. It introduces them to other entrepreneurs and/or mentors, building up their networks. In addition, mentoring promotes personal development, enhances self-esteem, and fosters entrepreneurial leadership skills.
It has been proven that training programs for women entrepreneurs that include mentoring components have better results. However, there is yet little concrete evidence of the effectiveness of mentoring programs for women entrepreneurs on their own.
The main objective of this online challenge is to identify innovative mentoring programs/solutions with methodologies and effective results that are helping women entrepreneurs thrive in the business world.
- Identifying the best mentoring programs for women entrepreneurs that have demonstrated effective results on the performance of women-led enterprises in a wide range of areas (sales, growth, number of new contacts, and level of trust in the mentor- mentee relationship).
- Defining the most effective time frame (duration) for mentoring programs and matchmaking methodologies of with high satisfaction rates for both mentors and mentees.
- Compiling and systematizing lessons learned and best practices on mentoring programs worldwide.
Who can participate?
Legal entities that conduct mentoring programs for women entrepreneurs who own and/or lead micro, small, and medium enterprises.
- Legally constituted NGOs, organizations, foundations, and universities running mentoring programs for women entrepreneurs, either online, face-to-face, or mixed- format.
- Programs that have effective and proven results.
- Organizations must: (a) have been conducting their programs for at least two years, and (b) have written results (surveys, monitoring systems, progress indicators, assessments, etc.).
Mentoring programs intended for any of the following audiences:
- Category 1: Women entrepreneurs who are launching startups or whose businesses are in their first two years of operations.
- Category 2: Women whose businesses are at least two years old and are either microenterprises with growth potential or small businesses.
- Category 3: High-growth women entrepreneurs, defined as women entrepreneurs whose businesses have experienced growth rates of more than 20% for at least three years.
Countries/Regions of interest: Mentoring programs may be based anywhere in the world, as long as they have a high potential to be implemented or replicated in Latin America and/or the Caribbean.
A panel of judges made up of experts in mentoring and/or entrepreneurship will select first and second prize-winners from among the applicants, taking into account their quality and the evaluation criteria mentioned below. To learn more about the judges, please visit this section.
Degree of innovation: To what extent the mentoring program/Solution is unique compared to others, based on its content, matchmaking process, and/or delivery methodology.
Alignment with objectives: Whether Whether the Solution is clear about how it contributes to achieving better performance in women’s businesses, broadening their networking, and improving women’s leadership skills.
Sustainability and replicability: Whether the Solution requires minimal resources to be maintained, demonstrating that it can be applied to other contexts and target audiences to achieve greater impact and reach over time.
Impact on participants: Whether the solution demonstrates specific actions and benefits for the intended audience, and whether the results to date and those expected in future are concretely explained.
Implementation strategy: Whether the Solution clearly describes the specific activities actions that have been and will be developed to implement it, and the type and number of expected participants (direct and indirect).
The following specific criteria will be considered value-added to the Solution:
- Whether the organization has selected appropriate instruments to measure outcomes, such as questionnaires, surveys and interviews, and has selected and implemented an evaluation design, etc.
- Whether the organization has specific indicators for program implementation viability and volunteer commitment, such as training hours, meeting frequency and relationship duration and quality.
- Whether the organization has developed a system for collecting and managing data.