Best practices for mentoring and coaching

In the spring 2020 Win-On-Line project carried out a study in which focused on good practices mentoring women entrepreneurs and coaching women in e-entrepreneurship. The study was conducted by telephone and e-mail interviews. Interviewees where selected from various groups, public employment and business services, city business services and different private sectors.

All the interviewees had slightly different methods and tools for mentoring and coaching. For all of them most important things were encountering face to face, interviews and competence mapping. The same practices were used regardless of the form of business.

From the interviews emerged major mentoring group called Mikrogrow-network project. It has its roots from Kerttu Saalasti Institute of Oulu University in 2015. The entire network includes about 300 companies around Finland. This project is operating in Southern and Northern Savonia, Central and Northern Ostrobothnia and Lapland.

Mikrogrow-networks the most important core activity is group meeting once a month. Every group meeting is led by a different entrepreneur from the network. Entrepreneur is responsible for the program and has an opportunity to make a presentation about their own company. Topics for the meetings are leadership, networking, financing, social media etc. In-group meetings participants can also change ideas and network. Participants can also take part on group meetings held by other groups in Finland.

In Savonia area Mikrogrow-network was started in 2017 as Mikroenteren-network for companies less than 10 employees. Network consist 25 companies in Savonia area. In Savonia area there is also strong women entrepreneurs association. Mikrogrow-network is meant for all entrepreneurs. This networking model would also work internationally and group meetings could be organized online.

Kaisu Auvinen from Ylä-Savo Vocational Collage interviewing Heli Pironetti business advisor from City of Iisalmi, about mentoring and Mikrogrow-network.