20 Aug

Renata Cooper one of 15 Australian Business Mentors talks to Business Insider

This article was originally published on Business Insider
Renata Cooper one of 15 Australian Business Mentors talks to Business Insider

15 Australian Business Mentors Explain Why They Share Their Knowledge

Sarah Kimmorley for Business Insider – August, 2014

Whether you’re starting out in your career or making some changes to an established business that you’re running, having a mentor to lead you in the right direction can be invaluable.

A good mentor is both willing and able to support and encourage you to reach your goals, and push you to succeed when you need a little bit of help when things get tough.

Not only is this a positive experience for a mentee but it can also be considerably rewarding as a mentor.

Many business leaders believe it is important to share the lessons and advice they have received, seeing this cycle as a sort of entrepreneurial “pay it forward”.

Here are some of what these 15 business leaders tell budding entrepreneurs and why they act as a mentor.

“It is the social responsibility of the person with experience and knowledge to share that with others starting a business.”

Renata Cooper, CEO of Forming Circles

Having come to Australia as a migrant with $20 in my pocket more than two decades ago, I worked my way through different roles from secretarial to equities trader and now, an entrepreneur and investor. I launched Forming Circles, a social and ethical investment organisation, in 2011, with a dream to help other start-ups (particularly women) achieve their dream – through funding, investment, grants and mentorship.

I was looking for insights, knowledge and personal stories of success to guide me. I knew others would be looking for similar guidance too and started sharing my knowledge with the wider community.

I believe it is the social responsibility of the person with experience and knowledge to share that with others starting a business or in need of being mentored. It is my great pleasure to see the businesses and its owners prosper as a result of a valuable advice and the opportunities created through Forming Circles initiatives such as the annual Kickstart Your Business Grant and Full Circle Mentoring programs.

Each year, we receive hundreds of applications from start-ups across Australia for the Grant – interested in the mentorship offered, just as much as the cash. This reiterates the fact that beyond money, small businesses have a deep thirst for knowledge and guidance.

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