Studies and anecdotal reports suggest that having a mentor is crucial in developing your career. The state of British Columbia in Canada recently acted on this, funding an online platform that lists mentorship programs, so that businesspeople can search for mentorship that matches their industry needs
It’s equally true, however, that acting as a mentor has a positive impact on one’s career. In fact, Forbes magazine recently ran an article “Why You Should Be A Mentor” about how mentors earn more and learn better leadership skills through mentoring others.
Enter Kindred Global Mentorship
CEO Michelle Dixon founded Kindred Global Mentorship after she realised that a network of mentors would have helped her through her toughest days when she launched her first business.
What she needed most, was guidance about various matters ranging from marketing, to finance and budget, to décor, to tips for dealing with clients–but not generic advice.
She needed help and advice from people who knew her industry well and had solved similar problems.
After speaking with numerous other business owners and doing some research, she concluded that an oDesk-style matching platform to make finding mentors easy was long overdue.
She wanted mentorship to be accessible across many industries – especially for those business owners traditionally excluded from a mentorship like therapists and tradespeople.
In the English language market, 53.3 million people are engaged in early stage entrepreneurship, and 25.8 million people have sole proprietorships – an abundant number of potential mentees and experts who can guide them.
She chose the name Kindred because it means “of the same family,” and refers to how human connectedness transcends nationality. Kinship implicates a certain responsibility for mutual support, and this aspect of the business is one that particularly motivates Michelle.
Users of Kindred’s online platform are automatically contributing to solutions to global poverty: 15% of company profits will be allocated to charities funding independent business growth in developing countries. Kindred is currently partnered with microloan charity Kiva.
Whether you’re a consultant, a plumber, a massage therapist, a dentist, a graphic designer, or anything else, Kindred gives potential mentors and mentees access to people in their industry for giving or receiving guidance.
It’s free to register, you can set up a profile at KindredMentorship.
Mentors set prices for mentorship sessions based on their own self-assessment, and sessions can be organized via Skype. Mentors and mentees are responsible for creating user profiles to attract the best match.
Mentees can give mentors ratings and feedback which can then be used to enhance their professional reputations.
The website is due to complete development in August, and will be launched then.
You Can Help Launch Kindred
Kindred has just launched a Mentor Platform Crowdfunding campaign at Indigogo to get the word out, gain some traction, and raise enough money to fund two months’ costs while raising a seed round.
Kindred’s goal is to acquire 3000 users in its first six months, matched by the platform’s improvements and adjustments based on qualitative feedback.
Within a year, the hope is to be bringing in a sufficient profit to begin donations to charities, to be the go-to site for finding tailored mentorship, as well as a resource base for entrepreneurs and mentors everywhere.
Over time, as the charitable portion of the business grows, Kindred aims to explore expanded opportunities for collaboration and support of vulnerable populations.