New mentorship program strengthens Durham’s entrepreneurial ecosystem
Every great achiever is inspired by a great mentor and the Whitby Chamber of Commerce (WCC) aims to encourage these connections with the launch of its new Mentorship Program.
In 2017, the WCC’s 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.
“My experience working with my assigned mentor was exceptional,” said Matthew Gardner, participant in the pilot program. “I learned a lot from hearing his feedback and getting an outsider’s perspective of what I am doing.”
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. 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.
To participate in this new program as either a mentee or mentor, interested parties must fill out an application form and sign the Mentorship Charter found on the WCC website.