GIVING THE BEST OF YOURSELF
Mentorship for everyone
Some programs are specialized by sector. Young entrepreneurs can also contact the Fondation de l’entrepreneurship, the Fondation Montréal Inc., the Jeune chambre de commerce de Montréal or Futurpreneurs Canada. For artists, Montréal arts-affaires, Artère and Inis also offer mentorship programs. Finally, Fusion Jeunesse fights dropping out in elementary and middle schools by pairing younger students with older students.
Sandra Abi-Rashed and Mélanie Frappa are two young professional women in the fields of fashion and media. Their shared desire to help the new generation led them to launch the Mentoro program.
“A simple conversation with the right mentor is often all that’s needed to have an impact,”said Abi-Rashed.
Mentoro mentors commit to meeting the person with whom they are paired at least two or three times over a six-month period. Abi-Rashed and Frappa pair mentors with mentees depending on the objectives of each person. “We take the time to study applications so we can make the best pairs possible,” said Abi-Rashed.
Caterina Rizzi, co-founder of Breather, a company that rents spaces by request, was delighted by the idea of being a mentor.
“I’ve always answered questions from young people who came to see me,” she said. “When I was asked to take part in the Mentoro program, I immediately accepted.”
Rizzi uses her professional experience to guide youth through the job market. She gives advice, offers examples and, most of all, tries to understand their desires and objectives.
“We’re there to listen to them, encourage them and also to challenge them,” she said.
Rizzi helped Leslie Mbimbi create her business. Since working with Rizzi, Mbimbi has launched One Vision Tour, a service that facilitates international students’ experience in Canada. “I was impressed by what Leslie wanted to do,” Rizzi recalled. For Mbimbi, her discussions with Rizzi were decisive. They gave her a boost to start her business.
“She not only gave me valuable advice,she also gave me confidence in myself,” she said.
No matter the program, mentors havethe same objective: to give back to thenext generation in order to take themeven further.