In 2017, the Whitby Chamber of Commerce’s (WCC) Young Entrepreneurs & Professionals (YEP) committee successfully piloted a mentorship program. Based on key learnings and the energy and enthusiasm communicated by the WCC membership, this pilot evolved to a program that can be leveraged by anyone in the Chamber community.
A new Mentorship Committee, comprised of volunteer WCC members, was developed to facilitate the connection between established entrepreneurs and professionals with mentees in the region, allowing mentors to give back while providing personal development and growth for all participants.
Durham Region has a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem and it is important for all levels of the business community to work together to continue advancing the reputation and potential of the region. In fact, after exploring existing local mentorship programs, the Ideas Summit Executive Team from AECOM, Durham College, General Motors Canada, Lakeridge Health, 360insights, Ontario Power Generation, Spark Centre, Search Engine People and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology identified mentorship as a requirement moving forward and determined leveraging the WCC Mentorship Program was the most efficient strategy to achieve this goal. This support allows mentees participating in this program to work with a broad range of talented executives in the region.
- Mentorship committee reviews potential mentee and mentor applications to identify a match
- Mentors are invited to a 90-minute WCC Mentor 101 and given the Mentorship Tool Kit
- Potential mentors and mentees are matched, sign the WCC Mentorship Program Charter, and WCC continues to check in to ensure things are progressing
- WCC captures participation in this program within the member profile